The Semicolon

I don’t pay much attention to grammar.  I stick pretty close to the rules but I don’t mind breaking them once in a while.  Sentence fragments don’t bother me.  Don’t bother me at all.  And punctuation?  I don’t obsess about the rules.  I try to use punctuation intuitively.  It’s more about getting the phrasing right than getting the right thing in the right place.  Getting your message across with the written word is more about how it sounds in your head than what it looks like on paper.

I use commas to signify a pause, a period to insert a longer pause, and a semicolon…  I don’t use semicolons.  I don’t know that I have ever used a semicolon.  It’s used to join two sentences, isn’t it?  I don’t know.  Is it supposed to be a pause that’s longer than a comma but shorter than a period?  That seems like splitting hairs to me.  I can’t see the use in it.

The semicolon seems like an ambivalent creature to me.  It can’t make up it’s mind what it wants to be.  ‘I think I’ll pause right here.  No maybe I’ll stop and start a new thought.  Or maybe I’ll just insert some kind of list.  I don’t know.  I can’t make up my mind.’

So I won’t be using any semicolons.  I don’t want to hurt it’s feelings but really.  It’s only a semi, colon.


Copyright © 2011 by Angus B. Lewis
All rights reserved


About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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