I'm a relatively new fan of semicolons; maybe I've been afraid of using them incorrectly. I've set a goal of using them more frequently; this post is an example of how hard I'm trying. My inspiration? Tony Noland wrote this clever ode to semicolons; he makes them sound downright indispensable for grownups.
Tony, I give thanks to you now; it is you who helps me open my heart and pen to this praiseworthy punctuation. (p.s. How am I doing?)
Ode to the Semicolon By Tony Noland
The simple thoughts of children need only simple punctuation,
A sentence with one verb, one noun, for every situation.
“I want a cookie.” “She hit me!” “When are we going to eat?”
These subject/object pairings up express these thoughts complete.
As we mature, our thoughts do too, become harder to express.
Complexity increases, stacked more and more, not less.
“Optic blasts are awesome, but adamantium claws are better.”
“Should I call up Mary Lou, or send an e.mail letter?”
Related concepts bloom within, so quickly they do roll on,
To show they’re separate (but connected), apply the semicolon.
The sentences could stand apart, but linking them together
Allows the thought to seamlessly express itself much better.
“We danced all night; it was divine.” describes one case in point.
The first and second halves of which each other do anoint.
“We danced all night. It was divine.” How choppy and how stilted!
Without the semicolon how the narrative gets wilted!
Conditional or adverse, it supports concept relations;
O semicolon, praise we all, the best of all notations!
Causes Kate Marshall Supports
Project Second Chance, an adult literacy program run by the Contra Costa County Library system in California.