Friday, October 15, 2010


My Taos Toolbox pal Oz requested an example of a properly-used semicolon in a comment recently. I'm up to my ass in alligators at the moment, and when I went to give myself a quick semicolon brush-up, I found that there's a lot more to the matter than I'd remembered.

So I'm waiting for breathing space, but there are more OCD-styling semicolon thrills ahead. Will Van Gundy prove correct? (Spoiler alert: probably not.) Will I prove to have spoken with more authority than knowledge? (Spoiler alert: of course.)

Coming soon! If I'm not just gassing.


robp said...

The last story you sent me contains good ones and others. I wouldn't call them bad; many a non-anal type would accept them. At the level you're talking about, it comes down to whether the semi-colon is an improvement on a period and a new sentence. Acceptable versus preferred. I don't know why our grammar accepts anything that is not preferred. I suspect it's because some of the rules are fucked up and need protection from friendly fire.

Oz said...

Oh, you just like my name! I can't imagine that I asked about semicolons since I never use them. But someone did. So post away about them. If I were feeling clever at 6:30EDT, I'd use one now. But I'm not. I haven't had my first cup of coffee yet.

But it's some sort of connection that had you mentioning me in this post. I was reading the last one and thinking about you. That crawl under the desk feeling? I've had it. It's stress. And while a writer should experience lots of emotions to be able to write about them, stress is one to take in very small doses. Some folks thrive on stress. But I don't and your post says you don't, either. (Although every tax season I deliberately take on stress in order to make money.)

Don't overextend yourself. Say no once in a while to writing crits for folks. And blogging is a way of seeing those choices and priorities in print so they're more concrete. So while it took time to write it, I thought it would help you see your way.

Now...have things gotten any better a few days later? Inquiring minds and all that.


PS How could you possibly put the work for the Missus anywhere but top of the list?

Screams at Fish said...

Sounds like Van Gundy is your Moriarty, Sherlock ;)

(Yes, I used a semicolon in a decidedly un-sophisticated way. Shoot me.)

Sean Craven said...

Rob, further study encourages me to believe that the rules are more restrictive and specific than I had thought, which is glorious news for such as us.

Oz! Yeah, I just wrote 'Oz' because it's cool. Too true. As for my state, I'm going crazy in a healthy, productive way, if you know what I mean. I'm going through some real sea changes these days, and many of my most fundamental notions as to my identity are going right up against the wall. It's exhilarating, fascinating, frightening, and tiresome.

Van Gundy is not my Moriarty. That would be Rob.