Category Archives: Punctuation

Why the Semicolon is the New Period

The semicolon has long been a matter of passionate debate. In 1837, The Times of London reported on a sword duel between two University of Paris law professors. The loser sustained an arm wound. The subject of their quarrel? The semicolon. So it’s not surprising to read some of the cranky indictments of this piece

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Why I Hate the Semicolon

I tolerate semicolons in some places—academic writing, essays, literature, or journalism. But in business documents, where they have no place, they seriously annoy me. Here’s why: 1. Semicolons are too vague, too wishy washy. All other marks are assertive and clear in how they order and clarify ideas. The semicolon, used as a soft break

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How to Use the Semicolon

If you must use the semicolon, please use it correctly. Here are three ways it can be used: ONE: Use a semicolon to join two independent clauses without a conjunction, or a joining word. Used in this way, the semicolon stresses the closeness in meaning between the two sentences. It’s a softer, more subtle, break

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