Monday, February 28, 2005

Off the mark

I don't get people's disdain for the semicolon. I admire the mark and use it often. Not so with this "humor columnist" at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Some semicolons help separate items in a series. I like them. They recognize when commas are overburdened, then volunteer to jump into the middle of a sentence to help make things clearer. Those semicolons contribute to society.

Then there are the semicolons that connect independent clauses. I don't like them. I don't use them. In fact, if you gave me a dollar for every time I've used a "bad" semicolon, I could still only go window-shopping at the 99-cent store.


At 1:48 AM, March 01, 2005, Blogger Neil Barbour said...

I had a professor who was afraid of the semicolon. It seems each successive generation is a little friendlier to the act of balancing independent clauses on that aesthetically pleasing fulcrum. That’s probably why the elders disdain it.


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