The beloved semicolon

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.

3 thoughts on “The beloved semicolon

  1. I always feel like I don’t really know HOW to use the semicolon. And since my editing skills are nill in words – I just use a dash. For EVERYTHING. It’s terrible. I used to be a fan of the ellipsis – but then I had someone rant on me about my improper usage. So I dropped it. But I still like to say the word. ELLIPSIS!

  2. Semicolons effing rock. At work, people with the APA manual driven up their asses try to tell me how semicolons should and should not be used; sometimes I just have to tell them to have a seat and BACK OFF the punctuation.

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