You have been given a precise task: To correct grammar, not style.
A combination of question and exclamation mark is not a possible stylistic choice but – from the perspective of normative linguistics – an orthographic mistake. In English, a sentence must be terminated by a single punctuation mark.
So if you are asked to correct grammar, you must ...
I agree with others here that if you've been told not to make changes in style, it's likely that the writer's interpretation was that you should leave things like this alone.
But you're the proof reader in this case, so I wanted to give you an "out" in case you hated the sight of it.
If "The style of the novel is very traditional and the use of punctuation ...
I am proofreading a novel and have been instructed to make no
Much like the Oxford comma, frequency of semi-colons, and gendered pronouns, this is a stylistic minefield. But since you are explicitly told not to make stylistic choices, you should just leave "?!" be.
You are absolutely correct that this is jarring to see in text. If your ...
Sentance A is gramatically correct as the subject verb object is Sue, responding to somone, with a direct quote (the third person narrator is speaking) and when formed in this manner, final punctuation in the quote is a comma such that:
"Quoted sentence of dialog," said person.
Is a valid. If the quote is a question or a definate exclamation point, then ...
It's totally fine. It expresses a combination of query and astonishment. There was even an attempt to combine the marks into one, called an interrobang, but it never caught on. Using "?!" is neither innovative nor idiosyncratic.
I disagree, they are better if they are not exclamatory.
It is like saying "Spare me." in response to an unfunny joke. An exclamation point changes the meaning, it is intended to be bored cynicism, NOT a positive response, not fear, not anything exclamatory at all.
The same for "Good grief." and "Good God."
With a period, they express irritation, or they ...
There are three rules for conversation:
1) Indicate through some mark of punctuation that someone is speaking aloud.
This can be double quotes " , single quotes ' , dashes of varying lengths — , guillemets « , or whatever else typographic convention is in your area.
2) Make it clear who is speaking.
This is usually through some kind of dialogue tag (he ...