A NYTimes article explains how the semicolon rose to prominence in the New York subway system. Also, this article includes a grammar correction at the bottom; a nice bonus for the grammar nerds.
I’m a big fan of the semicolon because it can be used for pretty much anything. Semicolons join two clauses in place of a conjunction, saving space and sounding more streamlined to the ear. They’re also handy when using non-traditional punctuation in fiction or poetry or less-than-uptight blog posts; they indicate a pause that’s larger than a comma but shorter than a period.
Look how many semicolons I just used. It’s sick. I’m not sure if I use them exactly correctly all the time; I don’t really care. I was once leaving my friend Emily’s apartment at 4am to go make out with a nice boy, but I wanted to let her know where I was headed. I wrote on a napkin in black Sharpie, and I remember the nice boy going, “You used a semicolon in a napkin note?”
Side note: I edited this post for punctuation about ten times. Future posts will be less uptight or else I won’t have time for things like eating and going to my job.