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Hogarth judge

February 2018



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Hogarth judge

Let us pause

Let us pause to celebrate the semicolon. The correction at the end is mildly amusing as well.

I have always used semicolons, and used them liberally; so much so that their liberal use marks a personal style. Brief but related statements presented in a series call in my mind's eye for semicolons, not periods. There is just something classy about text united with semicolons —
Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern; then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.
— where the use of periods would seem miserably clunky, and break the rhythm.

I wonder, though, about the campaign underlying the observation. I often leave newspapers and such in public places; the idea being that once I'm through with them, to pass them along to strangers. Of course, if no one accepts the implied invitation, it does turn into litter.


We're all very fond of semicolons; we tend to use them to connect groups of sentences; I believe we picked up this habit from Harper Lee. We were taught to use them to connect phrases that could not stand alone as sentences, but if it's good enough for Scout Finch it's good enough for us.