Tagged punctuation

Semicolon Happy: A Life Lesson

One of my favorite marks is the semicolon. Don’t get me wrong; he’s a pretentious little twit sometimes. Honestly, I’m not, you know, a world-class grammarian or anything, but one of my favorite things in life EVER, is the misuse of this little snot. Not only because I wouldn’t have a job if it weren’t for grammatical/spelling errors, BUT because the semicolon is one of those extras. You need not use one. There is never a time when a period is completely unacceptable. Semicolon is stylish, flashy… he is like the fur lining on your hoodie, you know?

If you’ve ever wondered what in the #¢*! to do with a semicolon… I’ve got a few that I think are most important (or, at least, most common.)

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One.
The easiest: use a semicolon in place of a period between two separate sentences without the conjunction. (Conjunction is like “and,” “but,” and “because.”) These two “sentences,” can be considered independent clauses, meaning they could stand alone, you know, with their subject and verb; however, the semicolon here signifies a closer connection between them—closer than a period!

Stop by McDonald’s and get me a Rolo McFlurry; I’ll give you dollars when you get here.

I stopped going to class after the first two weeks; it put me right to sleep. 
 
Two.
While it’s not like GUN-TO-THE-FOOT* important, it is preferable to use semicolons before introductory words/phrases that introduce complete sentences. Some of these words are “however,” “therefore,” “besides,” and “for example.” (Remember the comma afterward!)


Lisa is notorious for sleeping around; therefore, I was hesitant to sit, raw-bottom, on her toilet.

I can’t wait to get into a good college; however, I’m dreading the loan repayment.

Three.
Now, this one is a wee bit tricky, but sort of necessary for clarity. Use a semicolon between items in a list, when the items contain commas. They call this type of list (with internal punctuation) a “complex series.” Haha.

Leah dated a lot of guys in the medical field, such as: Scott, the physical therapist; John, the doctor-in-training; Chad, the male nurse; and Bill, the pharmacist.


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Done with the banter! But hey, you get the idea. Common, everyday language is more prone to rule one, but trust me there are more rules! If nothing else, just don’t use them. Eff convention, throw in a period and be done with it.

Enough rules. Not so swiftly, I’m trying to focus my attention on something else other than that stupid Casey Anthony case; though, it appears to be everywhere right now. Stuff like that rots my brain out, makes me so sad.

HEY. What punctuation/grammar issue do you come across most? This might help me. I need some idea of what people are struggling with most. Share your funny/sad/angry stories about grammar, spelling, or punctuation. I’d love to hear them, honest.

*GUN-TO-THE-FOOT was just an un-clever way for me to say “gun-to-the-head” without such messy imagery!
** I hate footnotes!