Beware the SEMICOLON!

Who knew that a tiny dot and hook could hold such terror when it appears? Semicolons are cool; they keep us from writing short, choppy sentences. It may be that the lowly semicolon is intimidating to tweeters and texters; therefore, it’s rarely used.
A woman whom I deeply respect and trust and who has fine “people skills” told me that she has an employee who was terrified by the semicolon; nevertheless, she says she will continue to use this lovely punctuation device whenever appropriate.
It seems she sent a memo to an employee in which she specified exactly what the task was to which he had been assigned, as well as the procedure he was expected to use in completing the task. She is his boss, and she wanted to give him a written directive to follow up one she had given him orally.
Soon after he received the memo, the terrified young man appeared at her office door; whatever caused his stressful state was unknown to his boss. He nervously asked if he could speak to her about the memo he’d just received. She asked him to speak freely, and he replied, “It was SO serious! You used SEMICOLONS!!!”
The woman who related this story to me is a far nicer person than I. Under the same circumstances i would probably strive, from this point on, to use at least several semicolons in every email I sent to the young man! Ah, there you have it! I’m NOT a very nice person! Thank goodness, my daughter is!
(Personally, I find the colon somewhat imtimidating. Those letters that begin “Dear Madam:” always set my teeth on edge.
Ta Ta! Enjoy the day; however, keep warm!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *