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3D purple question mark Quick Questions 3D purple question mark

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The historical origins of the question mark is (pardon the pun) a bit of a question mark.

scroll with letters and words QUESTIO, QO, and ?

One theory says that scholars in the Middle Ages would write the Latin word quaestio at the end of a sentence to show it was a question. Since this was rather cumbersome to write out each time, it was eventually abbreviated. First to qo, then to q on top of o, and finally into the "?" symbol we know today. This is much like how our own cursive signature, which we once perfected in third grade, eventually morphed into the squiggly lines we now use as adults. But alas, there is little evidence to back up this theory.

cat with tail in shape of question mark, with Egyptian pyramids

A competing theory, also unsubstantiated, argues that the curve of the question mark traces back to the ancient Egyptians. Since Egyptians were famed for their worship of cats, it makes sense they would have been inspired by the similar shape of an inquisitive cat's tail.

man thinking, with question marks

In the end, perhaps it's appropriate this question remains a mystery. What do you think?

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