Weekend Words

Guess what is on the New York Times top ten “Most Popular” articles on its Web site? Was it about McCain and the lobbyist? No. Strife in Pakistan? Good guess. However, the hot article this past week has been about the semicolon. The article titled “Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location” tells how a New York City Transit placard uses this old-fashioned punctuation and started a buzz. What a wonderful thing that we can be excited by the proper use of punctuation! As my favorite grammar book, Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, explains the semicolon is the proper mark of punctuation to join two gramatically complete clauses when not joined by a conjunction.

“Indeed, this simple method of indicating relationship between statements is one of the most useful devices of composition.”

I agree. The semicolon is useful; let’s dust it off and bring it back.

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