Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Andrew Sullivan is one brave blogger; he has broached the matter of the semi-colon. I know Nige has strong feelings about this - he is very much in favour. He finds it, as I recall, an even more total cessation than a full stop. I have strong feelings also, but of inferiority. Someone - a teacher, I presume - once said to me, 'Not really at home with the semi-colon; are we?' and I have never fully recovered. Lately, with considerable effort, I have begin to use them with some frequency; they seem to come almost naturally at last. Yet I still fear Kurt Vonnegut's description of them as 'transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing' as well as the charge that real men neither eat quiche nor use semi-colons. In the end, however, the semi-colon is like death; we must all face it alone.
Posted by Bryan Appleyard at 4:00 pm