Friday, May 02, 2008

Pop quiz on punctuation: using semicolons

Semicolons are fun; I use them a lot, both here on the blog and in my romance novels. I adore long sentences with snappy rhythms, so when I happen to create a good one I'm reluctant to end things prematurely by flinging down a period. Sure, the liberal use of commas and conjunctions is usually enough to keep things rolling along for a while, but nothing adds pizzazz like a semicolon.

If you're only semi-confident about using semicolons, check out this page of simple exercises to make sure you're using them correctly.

6 comments:

eliza said...

That's interesting... I've read other journals that think that semicolons are steadily disappearing. I can't say one way or the other; I'm with you. I can't survive without lots of commas, involved sentences, a few dashes, and other such punctuation.

Brenda Coulter said...

I have heard writing workshop teachers blabber that semicolons don't belong in modern novels.

Please join me in a rousing Bronx cheer.

Jennifer Shirk said...

That was a good quiz. I don't really use semicolons. Maybe I'll toss a few in now. LOL!

trudymorgancole said...

I adore semicolons. I teach them to my students and tell them that correct use of a semicolon in your writing will make people assume (unconsciously) that you are much smarter than you actually are. However, I have had an editor ruthlessly strip out most of my semicolons because they didn't fit that publisher's "house style," which was a painful experience.

Brenda Coulter said...

I have had an editor ruthlessly strip out most of my semicolons because they didn't fit that publisher's "house style," which was a painful experience.

Ouch! I'm glad no copyeditor has ever tried to remove the semicolons from my books. The books would end up about ten percent shorter!
;-)

Anonymous said...

What if it was a bad comment? Would you still be happy? Besides, people have the right to type whatever they want. COUNTRY MUSIC! Ha! Like your quiz. Make it longer.