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robertogreco : semicolons   4

Landless: Ode to the Semicolon
"Ode to the Semicolon

By Tony Noland

The simple thoughts of children need only simple punctuation,
A sentence with one verb, one noun, for every situation.
“I want a cookie.” “She hit me!” “When are we going to eat?”
These subject/object pairings up express these thoughts complete.

As we mature, our thoughts do too, become harder to express.
Complexity increases, stacked more and more, not less.
“Optic blasts are awesome, but adamantium claws are better.”
“Should I call up Mary Lou, or send an e.mail letter?”

Related concepts bloom within, so quickly they do roll on,
To show they’re separate (but connected), apply the semicolon.
The sentences could stand apart, but linking them together
Allows the thought to seamlessly express itself much better.

“We danced all night; it was divine.” describes one case in point.
The first and second halves of which each other do anoint.
“We danced all night. It was divine.” How choppy and how stilted!
Without the semicolon how the narrative gets wilted!

Conditional or adverse, it supports concept relations;
O semicolon, praise we all, the best of all notations!"

[via: https://twitter.com/Braddo/status/310019709116493825
and http://www.swiss-miss.com/2013/03/ode-to-the-semicolon.html ]
poems  poetry  semicolons  complexity  unfinished  seams  punctuation  seamlessness 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Semicolons: A Love Story - NYTimes.com
"And so, far from being pretentious, semicolons can be positively democratic. To use a semicolon properly can be an act of faith. It’s a way of saying to the reader, who is already holding one bag of groceries, here, I know it’s a lot, but can you take another? And then (in the case of William James) another? And another? And one more? Which sounds, of course, dreadful, and like just the sort of discourtesy a writer ought strenuously to avoid. But the truth is that there can be something wonderful in being festooned in carefully balanced bags; there’s a kind of exquisite tension, a feeling of delicious responsibility, in being so loaded up that you seem to have half a grocery store suspended from your body.

So yes, Kurt Vonnegut: simplicity, in grammar as in all things, is a virtue, not to be sneezed at. But I can’t agree that semicolons represent absolutely nothing; …"
usage  bendolnick  writing  kurtvonnegut  literature  punctuation  grammar  2012  semicolon  semicolons  vonnegut 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Semicolons; So Tricky : The New Yorker
"[I]t still seems to have a vestigial interrogative quality to it, a cue to the reader that the writer is not finished yet; she is holding her breath."

"With a period, the four words sink at the end: SHE LOOKED at me. The semicolon keeps the words above water: because of that semicolon, something about her look is going to be significant."

"If I had invented the interrogative ellipsis, I think I’d have gone with “Punctuation???” Or maybe “Punctuation;” it would have the effect of suggesting that you supply your own subtitle."
connections  seams  marynorris  2012  semicolons  language  communication  grammar  writing  semicolon  seamlessness 
august 2012 by robertogreco
Jon Henley on the fate of the semicolon | World news | The Guardian
"An unlikely row has erupted in France over suggestions that the semicolon's days are numbered; worse, the growing influence of English is apparently to blame. Jon Henley reports on the uncertain fate of this most subtle and misused of punctuation marks."
punctuation  france  language  french  english  writing  semicolon  semicolons 
april 2008 by robertogreco

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