Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Garfer Comes Out

I need counselling.

My addiction to the semi colon is ruining my life. What the fuck is the use of this pointless punctuation mark? I’m no grammarian, and having been educated in the 1970’s, when god-awful hippy chicks were instructing youth to ‘express yourself’, I am about as acquainted with ‘Fowler’s English Usage’ as Jeffrey Archer.

Then there’s the colon, swanning about and demanding to be incorporated in a sentence. Why can’t it just piss off and restrict itself to describing the digestive tract?

My knowledge of the correct use of the English language is restricted to ‘what sounds right’. It’s the same with spelling. If it looks like its spelled wrong then it probably is. This approach is a bit of a pisser if the word doesn’t look right even if you have spelled it correctly. Parallel, parrallell, parralel, parallel? What the fuck does it matter? Everyone knows what you mean anyway.

Thank god for the spell and grammar checkers. If it wasn’t for them I’d probably be spouting a form of dyslexic Serbo-Croat.

Thank fuck for that. A post without a single colon or semi colon! Perhaps I’ll be able to give the Priory a miss.

16 comments:

MHN for short said...

It's interesting that you post about this particular subject. Just one week ago, I'm looking for some light reading in the "library" (loo) and I come across one of David's old textbooks on writing: The Bedford Handbook For Writers by Diana Hacker. I just so happened to look up the usages of the comma, colon and semi-colon. Very interesting stuff. I think it helped to clear up my punctuation style. Not bad for a little "mutli-tasking". :-)

Sniffy said...

I passed a Tunnock's Wafers Wagon on the M56 this morning and thought of you.

Have you read the Lynn Truss book; Eats, shoots and leaves? It's OK, if a bit preachy.

I was a semi colon virgin till I was 30.

Piggy and Tazzy said...

Does mhn for short realise how funny his/her comment was - ending with a wee smiley partly composed of a colon?

Like you cake face, I'm never quite sure where to use a semi-colon. In fact, I don't really care for it so rarely, if ever, use it.

Sniffy said...

I just do whatever the Word grammar check tells me to.

Wyndham said...

I try not to use the ; simply because I don't really know what it's for. If I've got a long list I'll whack a ; in every now and again for a breath but other than that I think it looks very untidy on the page. Elmore Leonard rarely uses it so it must be useless. The : on the other hand I quite like the look of and I use it with gusto!

Urban Chick said...

i'll do you a swap: colons and semi-colons for a bunch of exclamation marks!

i love exclamation marks!

i have a problem with over-use of exclamation marks!

help me and my goddam exclamation marks! it makes me look much jollier than i am in real life!

how 'bout that then!?

garfer said...

That was a very exclamatory comment Urban Chick. Hurrah!

Sniffy said...

I get really annoyed with myself when I used too many exclamation marks. I don't know why, but it's my least favourite punctuation mark.

I know how semi colons work so long as there's a colon knocking about; I sometimes get a bit confused in other situations.

Alex M said...

At least you only use one at a time. Excessive exclamations at the end of a line really get on my tits!!!!!!

I've been trying to come to terms with the semi-colon lately, but I only use them very sparingly since I'm not too confident with them yet.

Misplaced apostrophie's are my biggest bugbear, though.

Rowan said...

Semi-colon is good fun!
Too bad I didn't learn it's use until I was in grade 11 which I did via correspondence as I was kicked out of school for a term (long story) anyway. I like it loads now.

I too (obviously) have the bubbly exclaimation point throughout my writing; I am trying to limit its use more often. Such as the case with: Silliness; Anger;Overexcitability;emphasis on one of my shitty and oft overlooked point of views; and/or expletives!

Sniffy said...

I hate commas.

Faltanus said...

i love the semi-colon; so mysterious, so esoteric. i use them all the time; almost certainly incorrectly nearly all the time. who cares? what really makes the semi-colon so great is, of course, the SEMI. i mean the colon??? who gives a fuck? but the semi-colon - oh yeah baby! i'm getting a great tingling feeling down there in my happy place even now. now, just don't get me started on the dash!!

Sniffy said...

I've no idea about dashes. Are these hyphens with a soul? Hyphens that lead you on? What's the difference between a dash and a colon? Actually, I think I know that. But what about the colon-dash partnership???? No, can't cope with any of that.

S.I.D. said...

Ever had semi colonic irrigation.?

surly girl said...

i don't get punctuation, me. so i just sort of keep on keeping on safe in the knowledge that scary mrs lawson the english teacher is a) unlikely to mark my blog and b) dead.*

*the two may be related

Libra Litrou said...

Cool blog.

Sincerely,

June
Libra Litrou