2.83. ... We have seen that the general rule is that displaying goods in shops only constitutes an invitation to treat, although there are good reasons for taking a different approach (paras 2.22–2.23). However, what of a typical website that allows the customer to select the item, enter his payment details and seemingly conclude the agreement online. ♦ In this situation, then (absent the terms and conditions of the site providing to the contrary) it is suggested that it is clear that a contract has been concluded (see Christensen (2001) and Phang (2005)).

Based on my other question on ELU, what of is a question clause (Is the right term?), right? So why a period, and NOT a question mark, where I've placed a diamond?

Source: p 39 , The Law of Contract, 5 ed (2012), by O’Sullivan and Hilliard

  • 1
    Yes, I think a question mark would be more appropriate there.
    – oerkelens
    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:38
  • The matter what of you are talking does not require any question mark! :P [*You see 'that' there in the sentence in concern?]
    – Maulik V
    Nov 4, 2014 at 8:44
  • @MaulikV: I see no that in the sentence. I also don't see the relevance. What of that missing that? Do you mean the question mark depends on the presence of that?
    – oerkelens
    Nov 4, 2014 at 9:34
  • @oerkelens yes, I misread it. I was just belting along while commenting! :(
    – Maulik V
    Nov 4, 2014 at 12:30

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, the full stop (period) is a mistake. "What of" is a question, even if sometimes presents as a rhetorical question. This opinion appears to be confirmed by the explanations given in the dictionary comments on the expression in your other question:

"what of 1. formal how does that affect (someone or something) 2. why does (something) matter"

The words I have italicised are clearly questions.

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