There is an old joke in our family that dates back to when my daughter first learnt punctuation. The topic? The use of semi-colons.
I confess; I am a big fan of semi-colons. The definition is: a punctuation mark that separates two major sentences. There you have it; can it be any clearer? You can use the semi-colon to break up a long sentence into shorter sentences of a related matter or you can use the semi-colon instead of using conjunctions such as ‘and’, ‘or’, ‘so’ or ‘but’. It is a short pause in a paragraph – you use it when you feel that a full-stop will break the flow of your writing but the comma might not be enough!
My attempt to instil in my daughter the same affection I had for semi-colons was sadly quashed by one of her school teachers; my daughter came back from school one day declaring that the semi-colons are irrelevant – her teacher said so.
So whenever I use a semi-colon or talk about it, I see my daughter’s eyes rolling as she says: ‘Here she goes again…’ 😉
Do you use semi-colons in your writing?
Do you think that semi-colons are irrelevant? Outdated? Useless?
I would love your feedback.