Saturday, August 11, 2012

A Thoughtful Pause

You know... I really like commas. Semi-colons, too. You've probably noticed.

I really use them a lot, not always correctly. But when I flow, I just love to stick them in, here and there. They're like these cute little decorations that let me keep writing, on and on.

I particularly enjoy those rare instances when a list correctly calls for both commas and semi-colons. That's a fairly formal usage though, so I don't employ it often. Occasionally, it comes up naturally in a proposal.

When I was teaching English, I taught my students to use semi-colons. With a few mini-lessons, some examples, and a bit of practice, it was pretty easy for them to master. Then I required them to use at least one in every essay, for reinforcement. I was of the mind that a correctly employed semi-colon marks one as a gentile, elegant, and sophisticated writer and makes a good impression. Even the students with learning disabilities or the lowest of skills could master their use with a bit of practice.

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