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Today I used a semi-colon

During the past few months, when writing, I’ve had an urge to use a semi-colon. I resist and tell myself that it really doesn’t know what it wants and restructure things so that no semi-colon is possible. I don’t know where the urge comes from. I’ve read the rules on when they should be used but still I get filled with doubt when presented with the option. I stop and appreciate semi-colons in sentences written by people who know how to handle them. Today I gave in to the semi-colon, doubt and all, and there was no complaint on the receiving end. The urge rose up twice more but how much could I push my luck? Not yet being able to make peace with the semi-colon I had to go back down the road of rejection. Those of you who are semi-colon masters, how do you do it? Help me come to terms with this marginalized punctuation.

2 Responses to “Today I used a semi-colon”

  1. 1
    Evan Says:

    I’m gonna assume that’s a serious question even though you tagged it “funny”. Grammatically, a semicolon is identical to a period, but it indicates a higher level of connection and flow between the two statements it separates. Example:

    I was here. You were there.

    I was here; you were there.

    Same words, same grammar, same meaning. But if you read them both aloud, the first version has a rest in between the two statements, while the second version has a smooth flow from one to the other, with just a very brief pause in between.

    Bottom line is, if you’re writing two sentences, and you feel like the second one is really a continuation of the thought in the first one, then you can turn the period into a semicolon.

  2. 2
    Douglas Says:

    It was more of a Funny in a laughing at myself kind of way as I know the rules but I’m still afraid to use the thing. It fills me with doubt as to whether it’s really ok. Everyone’s semi-colon comments have given me confidence though and I have gone on to use the semi-colon a couple times since I first wrote that.

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