Ode to the Semicolon
I love the semicolon; it’s my all-time favorite punctuation mark. My love for it stems from the first author to whom I ever really found myself truly devoted, John Irving. In “The World According to Garp,” Irving sings the praises of “the good ole semicolon,” and my love for the semicolon was cinched from my first reading of “Garp” way back in college.
This past Tuesday, the New York Times heralded the semicolon. I have learned that Kurt Vonnegut abhorred the semicolon (he called semicolons “hermaphrodite transvestites,” saying that they serve no purpose: “The only reason to use one is to show you’ve been to college.”). I love Vonnegut but must attribute this loathing to his notorious pessimism. I do love his quote in the article, though (“When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon.”).
So go read this delightful NYT piece and revel in a language that gives us the semicolon. It makes me curious—what’s your favorite punctuation mark?