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My name is Matt Henderson; I have a semicolon problem

Truss, Eats, Shoots and Leaves -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

"The main reason I recall this shameful teenage epiphany, however, is that in my mission to blast little Kerry-Anne out of the water, I pulled out (literally) all the stops: I used a semicolon."

I could relate to Truss here; I am a huge semicolon-user. I don't know why it's not used by a lot of people, though; it seems like it's a relatively simple tool to know how to use. You don't have to worry about having an "and" and a comma or anything; you don't even have to incorrectly use a comma splice; you can just a semicolon. Sometimes I am a bit afraid that I'm becoming a bit like Virginia Woolf with my semicolons; they can become dangerously addictive; you can just join sentences together forever and ever; you never have to come back down to start another sentence; it's beautiful; it's wonderful. Okay, yes, I admit I have a problem; I'll call Virginia Woolf; we'll go to semicolon rehab together.

Comments (2)

Chera Pupi:

I agree with you Matt. I love semicolons; I never used them until this year though! For some reason, a long, long time ago, someone told me that they were too difficult to explain. So I went through about 13 years of schooling thinking that the semicolon was some impossibly hard, "grown up" punctuation mark. It wasn't until I sat down at the Writing Center and looked up "semicolon" in a book, and actually read it, did I realize how rediculously simple they are. Needless to say, I use them all of the time now. You're right though, they can be addictive.


Sorry, I can't help either of you. I'm a comma-addict. I must have learned the Dickens style for comma-ing, I suppose, because if I don't pay attention I'll just put a comma in after every phrase (which is why I was up-in-arms when Truss said that Gertrude Stein had called the comma "servile." Of all the nerve!) Anyway, good luck in semicolon rehab! I'm pretty content with my addiction to commas, so I think I'll just go read a really old novel (like giving vodka to an alcoholic).

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