Thursday, June 07, 2007

Obstructions

I've mentioned my love affair with grammar in the past, and how it got me through my high school English courses. I do, however, have a weakness when it comes certain types of punctuation. There were about a dozen rules for the comma that I could never get straight, and, while I would normally do quite well on grammar quizzes, I barely passed the one on the comma. I'm pretty sure that I'm consistently breaking at least one on of the comma rules in my thesis, though if I leave them out, my supervisor tells me to put them back in. At least I'm being consistent. The punctuation that mystifies me the most, however, is the semi-colon. The rules for its usage are fairly simple. It is to be used to join two sentences that are closely related, perhaps in place of a conjunction. It is also used as a sort of "super comma", used in place of a comma when the things normally separated by commas contain commas themselevs. I have rarely, if ever, seen a semi-colon used in this way. As for the first rule, I am sure that I have seen them used in this way, but any of attempts of my own to do so have been foiled by my editor. Though they appear in my thesis, none of them were put there by me.

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Lament for/Ode to a semi-colon

Is there a curse on
The semi-colon?
It seems Chesterton
Is the only one
allowed to have fun
w' that punctuation

1 comment:

e.go said...

haha. your blog is def entertaining. i have a love affair with grammar too, though i think sometimes our love affair needs a little creativity and imagination and a little less predictability. kinda kills the romance, y'know?