Ask General Kang: Should I be afraid of the semicolon?

Ask General KangDo you mean the form of punctuation, or what happens to your lower intestines after you’ve eaten improperly prepared Thringian Gitworm sashimi?

Because if you’ve eaten bad ThriGit sashimi, and its still-living spawn are now lunching on your colon, then yes, that is something to be feared; it may even be horrifying.

If you are talking about the form of punctuation, then you are wise to be fearful. Back on Planet Neecknaw, I had a crack brigade of battle-ready gorilloids, armed only with copies of Fowler’s Modern English Usage and their intimate understanding of advanced punctuation warfare. You’ve never seen anything as terrifying as a gorilloid demonstrating an impeccable use of the semi-colon.

(Unless you’ve visited a ThriGit recovery ward.)

Next time: What’s the best way to stop Cerebral Space Weasels from nesting in one’s duodenum?

Question via Neatorama: The Usage of Semicolon is Confusing; Most People Are Afraid of It. Alltop and are also unafraid of the semicolon; they are terrified of the em-dash, however. Note: this post previously appeared in February 2008.

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11 Responses to Ask General Kang: Should I be afraid of the semicolon?

  1. Rachel February 20, 2008 at 11:59 am #

    I love semicolons; I find them extremely effective because I am a dork.

  2. Rickey Henderson February 20, 2008 at 12:09 pm #

    The semi colon has always been and will continue to be a close ally of Rickey’s, right next to the quotation mark.

  3. Qelqoth February 20, 2008 at 1:51 pm #

    My use of the semi-colon is attrocious; it serves no purpose other than preventing me from using overused conjunctions; out of disrespect for the semi-colon, I have transformed the punctuation device into a literary flaw; it now contradicts its entire purpose. Down with semi-colons; they are the spawn of Satan; they are the harbingers of disease itself!

  4. Spooky February 20, 2008 at 3:39 pm #

    Esoteric post, you have a crazy sense of humour and that’s good.

  5. don February 20, 2008 at 5:21 pm #

    I have always distrusted umlauts. They’re foreign and they seem to be watching me.

  6. Two Dogs February 20, 2008 at 7:28 pm #

    I believe that the semi-colon is a damn fine looking piece of punctuation; I use it whenever I can.

    I think I jizzed my skivvies; it’s too sexy.

  7. Two Dogs February 20, 2008 at 7:30 pm #

    Also, I cannot actually write the word correctly because I have a heart condition that is exacerbated by the seeing the word in its full glory.

  8. Mark A. Rayner February 20, 2008 at 7:46 pm #

    It is gratifying to see that we are all excited by the semicolon in one way or another.

    Quelqoth, if there was ever any doubt about your anarchist credentials, your antipathy to that paragon of punctuation, the semicolon, should put them to rest; you have revealed yourself!

    Dorks and lovers of the esoteric, unite!

  9. Rachel February 21, 2008 at 9:46 am #

    “Qelqoth” reminds me of that “problem” I have with “overuse” of “quotes” for a desired “effect.”

  10. bagel February 27, 2008 at 11:10 am #

    In order to use a semicolon properly, one must have two sentences that are related; Sadly, this is rarely the case for me. I like apples. I saw an interesting program on television last night. Oh my, what a pretty bird! ADHD is fun. What were we talking about?

  11. Mark A. Rayner February 27, 2008 at 11:14 am #

    He; hee.