The Semicolon Is the Perfect Punctuation for the Digital Age | The New York Observer →

February 20th, 2014

I like semi-colons: they’re useful and it’s a shame they’re dying out. And I frequently use them like the author of this article, but fear they may not come across to the reader as intended.

But I disagree with all that. I rarely revise my text messages, sending out typos and odd autocorrections left and right, and the semicolon is often the first punctuation mark I thumb for when I’m moving onto another thought (for instance: “yea, dinner at 8 sounds good; did you walk the dog?”).

A period could very well have worked there, but as Ben Crair observes in the New Republic, they often seem too severe; and exclamation points, the kudzu of punctuation in the digital age, might make you feel like an overenthusiastic phony. But the semicolon’s breezy informality, for me, captures the unstructured, colloquial nature of digital correspondence more so than any other punctuation mark out there.

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