Monday, July 27, 2009

The End of the Line

You may have noticed my Twitter comment a few weeks ago about a movie by the above name. I also ran into an article in The Guardian, entitled The End of the Line, regarding the disappearance of the semi-colon. Apparently, the French continue to be very upset about the bad influence of English on their language. In fact, last year they pondered and fretted over the possible elimination of their beloved semi-colon, blaming its waning use on English-speakers.

Personally, I like the semi-colon and always teach students how they can use it in their writing. It can act as a long comma, especially in wordy lists, or a short period to connect two ideas that shouldn't be too far away from each other nor too close. I think a semi-colon offers writers another tool for creating connections and coherence in their expositions. Nevertheless, I wouldn't engage in a battle over it. There are so many bigger issues to debate. For example, is 'I should of done it' acceptable English yet?

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