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John Shore Christian Blog and Commentary

The Semicolon: SATAN'S PUNCTUATION MARK??!!

  • John Shore
    Besides here on Crosswalk, John blogs on JohnShore.com.
  • 2009 Nov 13
  • Comments

mrsemicolonNow here's a guy who takes his punctuation seriously.

This morning I received a message from a new e-friend, Tammy Lubbers, whose Facebook page is here.

"You wrote a book about punctuation?" she wrote. [She is referring to Comma Sense, a book that I don't think it immodest of me to acknowledge has made me famous throughout my house.] I KNEW I liked you! I've decided to begin a petition to eradicate apostrophes, as they are rarely used correctly. Want to join?"

I was appalled; I was aghast; I was mortified; I was eating a bowl of Life cereal, which is perfectly named since it's not quite sweet enough.

Milk flying everywhere, I fired back this missile of a missive:

"God, no. I LOVE and constantly use the semicolon; I wholly depend upon it. SEE?! You start a club about how to use [the semicolon] correctly, and I'm your man. But eradicate it? No, no, no, no, no. We only have 13 punctuation marks, total. I NEED the semicolon. NEED, I SAY!!!"

My wife Catherine thinks I'm insane about punctuation. She's wrong, of course. Period.

Now then. As a reader of my blog, I know that you are a literate: sophisticated, educated, knowledgable knowledgible smart. And Mrs. Lubbers, I happen to know, isn't exactly a drooling admirer of shiny objects. So I ask: What think you of this move I have reason to know is burgeoning out there, of eradicating the semicolon? Are you for that? Is anyone? Do people really not know how to use this noblest (if most finicky) of punctuation marks?

If more of you vote for eradicating than saving the semicolon, I will swallow my protests, bow to your will, and see to it that the semicolon vanishes from use.

That's right. I can do that. They don't let just anybody write those books, you know.

So what say you, reader? Thumbs up or down for Ye Oldye Semicolon?

Related to this is my completely excellent When Punctuation Goes Really, Really Wrong.

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Cast your vote.

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