The semicolon scares the crap out of me (with its big scary dot and it ever-precarious comma hanging around on the bottom, mocking me). I never learned to use it properly. I was an honor student in school; we didn't study grammar past the eighth grade. (Did you see that? I used one right there between "school" and "we." Thunder did not rumble. Lightning did not strike. The world still spins.)
I was reading an old interview of Mr London Street. He was asked his opinion on how bloggers could improve their blogging skills; one of his answers was to learn proper use of the semicolon. I couldn't help but to think that is why he stopped following my blog. He simply couldn't drag himself through the muddy swamp of my poor punctuation skills. Woe is me.
I've always been very proud of the fact that I can edit my own writing. I don't need somebody hovering over my shoulder to tell me that "you're" should be spelled "your" or that "effect" and "affect" are two completely different animals. In fact, you could say I've been kinda snooty about the whole thing. After all, only one or two of my real life friends have ever even heard of a semicolon.
This isn't to say that I don't make mistakes all the time. I think every blogger whose blog has been a victim of my comments knows that I get in a hurry and often scrawl crazy things across the screen with no concern for "their" or "there." Just last week on Facebook I misspelled "weird," and it bothered me so much I had to go back and correct it right away! TeenerBeener actually thanked me for the correction. It put a smile on my face, and from that point on I knew we'd be
Today, I stumbled across this Oatmeal Poster displaying the correct use of the semicolon. I'm feeling a lot like Charlie Gordon in Flowers for Algernon.
“Today, I learned, the comma, this a
comma (,) a period, with a tail, Miss Kinnian, says
its important, because, it makes writing, better,
she said, somebody, could lose, a lot of money, if
a comma, isnt, in the, right place, I dont have,
any money, and I dont see, how a comma, keeps
you, from losing it.
But she says, everybody, uses commas, so Ill use,
-Daniel Keyes, Flowers for Algernon
I can read; I can write; I can finally use a semicolon.
This does, however, make me very curious about the colon...