Saturday, June 21, 2008

A beautiful article on...

...use of the semi-colon (Slate).

From the article:
Slate's founding editor, Michael Kinsley, once noted to the Financial Times that "[t]he most common abuse of the semicolon, at least in journalism, is to imply a relationship between two statements without having to make clear what that relationship is." All journalists can cop to this: The semicolon allows woozy clauses to lean on each other like drunks for support.
I use semi-colons but only ever as a way of joining discrete sentences that share not the same general thinking but, instead, more the same thought. In other words, I use them only when the connection between two sentences is clearly much closer than the general relationship between other sentences in the same paragraph. I use them to recognize a connection, not to imply a connection.

I also don't ever use semi-colons to connect anything that couldn't otherwise stand as two complete sentences.

I love punctuation, so: how about you? How do you use semi-colons, if you do?

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