Friday, February 20, 2015

The Semicolon: Grammar's Most Misunderstood Punctuation Mark

For many publishers, the only time a semicolon is permissible, is as a winking emoticon in an editing comment bubble.

But they were actually invented for a reason. That reason is to break up a longer sentence into more easily understood chunks. Sometimes a comma just isn’t good enough, yet to make one sentence into two means there’ll be far too many short sentences.

Unfortunately too many authors treat semicolons as an excuse to write very, very long sentences that leave the reader confused and exhausted trying to follow them.

This is a light-hearted, yet pertinent, article about when—and when not—to use semicolons.

Helen Woodall

Helen is available to line edit and/ or content edit fiction and non-fiction. Rates on application.

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