An interesting chart! Are semicolons becoming obsolete? (And, I’m almost afraid to ask: If they are becoming obsolete, what does this say about us?) Tell us what you think!
I’ll get the conversation started–I’m afraid that if we’re using fewer semicolons, it’s because we’re expressing–and having–less complex ideas. Specifically, I’m afraid that we’re thinking in sound bites, rather than in logical, sequential patterns.
I will never forget the day Professor Drabik, my Literary Types and Themes instructor at Caldwell College, announced to our class: “The mark of a truly good writer is that he or she can use the semicolon WELL.” I’m not quite sure why this particular sentence is so memorable, but it has stuck with me through 16 years! And I do my utmost to be sure that by the time they complete my Core English classes, my own freshmen know how to “use the semicolon well.” I guess I took Professor Drabik’s statement as a personal challenge.
In the interest of spreading semicolon wisdom, I’d like to share with you one of my favorite semicolon webpages. This one is both informative and…wait for it…FUN! Yes, FUN! You’ll see. Trust me.