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Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Jeremy Goodwin, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. Jeremy Goodwin

    Jeremy Goodwin Active Member

    A friend sent me this NYTimes article.


    I think it's a cool little story. It's kind of nerdy how the story is about the semicolon, but I like how someone saw that sign, asked a question, found the answer, and turned it into a story.
  2. Ace

    Ace Well-Known Member

    Interesting but pretentious.
  3. Oggiedoggie

    Oggiedoggie Well-Known Member

  4. John

    John Well-Known Member

    I liked it; it was different.
  5. CentralIllinoisan

    CentralIllinoisan Active Member

    I love the semicolon, and use it often. I also make good use of the 'm' dash. Loves me 'm' dashes -- they really emphasize a phrase.
  6. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    Liked the story, am huge on semicolons.

    You give me a sentence with "as" in it at the awkward place we see constantly, and you'll more likely than not see it leave with a semicolon.
  7. Bob Cook

    Bob Cook Active Member

    I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how to become a professional writer. I say to you, “If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.”

    -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.
  8. Dave Kindred

    Dave Kindred Member

    From one Central Illinoisan, a veteran of pica sticks, to another most likely younger (isn't everyone?), it's an em dash, a space the size of a cap M in any font, twice as big as an en dash.
  9. joe

    joe Active Member


  10. mike311gd

    mike311gd Active Member

    My favorite part of the article:

    One of the school system’s most notorious graduates, David Berkowitz, the Son of Sam serial killer who taunted police and the press with rambling handwritten notes, was, as the columnist Jimmy Breslin wrote, the only murderer he ever encountered who could wield a semicolon just as well as a revolver. (Mr. Berkowitz, by the way, is now serving an even longer sentence.)

    I love the corn.

    Little things like proper punctuation excites me. I'm almost always surprised when someone slips a comma before a name.
  11. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Nice to see Noam Chomsky cited as an authority on a subject on which he really is an expert, instead of the thousands on which he is not.

  12. Steak Snabler

    Steak Snabler Well-Known Member

    One part of speech I've never been comfortable with; I never know when I've got it right. (Do I have it right here?)

    But the em (M) dash --- yes, big fan. I only wish PCs had a hot key for it. I always use three hyphens; two almost always get turned into one via email or from PC-to-Mac.
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