Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Someone Hates the Semicolon

From the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

I don't mean to brag, but I myself am an English major, and I've been known to get a little wild myself. At a recent party, to get things going, I said in a loud voice, "You know what I think of the semicolon?"

After a dramatic pause, I declared, "I think it's a worthless, clumsy, trashy mark with no redeeming stylistic value."

Read on...

SPOGG thinks the animus toward the semicolon is ridiculous. Of course it has stylistic value. One can use it to join two closely related sentences, rather than inserting a full stop between them. It also makes it easy to separate items in elaborate lists. It's more formal than a long dash -- it's like a cocktail dress as compared to khaki pants. Both have perfectly good uses, and one of the joys of writing is finding just the right word, sentence structure, and punctuation mark for the job.

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