My love affair with the semicolon began back in my high school days. I had already learned about the saucy minx in middle school, though I had yet to learn just how saucy and minx-ish she (because that curvy figure and sense of mystery could only belong to a lady, let’s be real) could be.
It was in my freshman Introduction to Literature class; our teacher had decided to spend a day going over common grammar errors, and had just opened up the floor for questions when it happened. One student asked if we could please go over that “half-comma-half-dot-thing.”
Teach responded with “Oooh yes, the sexy one.” And wrote the following sentence on the board:
“I ate the whole pie; I barfed.”
Rawr. Am I right?
She then went on to explain that the reason semicolons are so very sexy as follow: they join two independent clauses in a snuggly, intimate relationship. That’s hot, right? I mean, I say that as a fiercely independent little bookworm, so I suppose that it stands to reason verbal four-play (or, if I may, textual healing) between two self-aware subjects might turn me on.
That being said, I hate commas.
Commas are like my least favorite people: so indecisive! You can use them in far too many ways: linking dependent clauses, appositives, lists…I don’t see why they can’t just take a leaf out of the semicolon’s book and find one path and stick to it. Also, they enable dependent clauses to continue their reliance on perfectly lovely independent clauses; and if that’s not messed up, I don’t know what is. I mean, come on, dependent clauses! Go find yourself! Get an ankle tattoo, travel to Europe, try spending more by yourself, just do something besides leaning on independent clauses for personal validation. And commas, quit allowing them to live such an incomplete life.
You sicken me, commas.
But even though commas are terrible and I still forget how to use them from time to time, I can live with them. Though that’s largely due to the fact that I have semicolons in my life; they get me through tough times.