• Joe Caraccio

Using Semicolons

What's the deal with semicolons? A semicolon is put between two independent sentences; why not just use a period and make it into two sentences?

There is no real reason not to. You should avoid semicolons when possible especially in legal or business writing. Semicolons will result in long run-on sentences and sloppy writing. Just use a period.

“Here is a lesson in creative writing. First rule: Do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.”

― Kurt Vonnegut

It is worth noting that Kurt Vonnegut did use semicolons regularly in his writing. This well known quote is not technically taken out of context. Kurt Vonnegut does make this statement in A Man Without A Country. However, people rarely know that later in the book he uses a semicolon and states, ""rules only take us so far, even good rules."

Do whatever you want. If you know how to use a semicolon and it works well in your writing then use it. The only thing that matters is that your reader can understand what it is you attempting to convey.

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