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Regarding the subject of direct or indirect questions, I have seen on numerous occasions a construction where a direct question ending with a "?" follows a colon. Surely (I'm thinking) that would be an indirect question, so shouldn't end with a question mark, for example:

"Throughout the conference we will be asking the question: Where do we stand on tax cuts?".

Am I right in thinking that both the colon and the question mark are out of place here?

What would you suggest?

I hope you can help.
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Hi,

"Throughout the conference we will be asking the question: Where do we stand on tax cuts?".

I would write this as

Throughout the conference we will be asking the question, "Where do we stand on tax cuts?"

A comma after 'conference' is optional.

Best wishes, Clive
Comments  
"Am I right in thinking that both the colon and the question mark are out of place here?"

No, they are needed; however, you can substitute a comma for the colon.

"Throughout the conference COMMA we will be asking the question: Where do we stand on tax cuts?"(.)

The full stop is dispensable and the comma after "conference" I would insert.
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 Clive's reply was promoted to an answer.
If you replace the colon with a comma then surely you end up with this:

Throughout the conference we will be asking, where do we stand on tax cuts?

I would have thought that was ungrammatical. Is that a direct or an indirect question? It starts off as indirect and ends as direct. With the comma replacing the colon the sentence would have to be reconstructed or quotation marks used, wouldn't they?

For example:

Throughout the conference we will be asking where we stand on tax cuts.

or

Throughout the conference we will be asking, "Where do we stand on tax cuts?"

Many thanks.
Throughout the conference we will be asking, "[w ]here do we stand on tax cuts?"

Giving it a little bit more thought, is it grammatical to separate the verb from its object: "where do we stand on tax cuts", which is an independent clause?

No comma on the grounds of what I have just said, IMO.

or

Throughout the conference we will be asking that "[w ]here do we stand on tax cuts?" NO COMMA

Square brackets mean, when the whole sentence is in consideration, "where" requires its initial letter not to be capitalized, although when the direct question stands alone, it is to be capitalized. This is how I perceive this.

Throughout the conference we will be asking where we stand on tax cuts. OK

or

Throughout the conference we will be asking, "Where do we stand on tax cuts?" YES

but I prefer this:

Throughout the conference we will be asking, "[w ]here do we stand on tax cuts?"
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