Friday, August 17, 2012

Today on RU

Some of you who have been around a while will have heard tales of the Great Semicolon Debate of '08. I think my wounds from that battle have healed sufficiently to talk about semicolons in fiction again. But be gentle with me. The PTSD isn't completely gone, and I'm running low on xanax and chocolate.



Laura K. Curtis said...

LOL! I came from an academic background where semicolons were used (correctly, mind you) liberally. When I sent my first novel off to my first beta reader, she said "well, I like it, but you're going to have to get rid of all these semi-colons because fiction readers aren't used to them."

Edittorrent said...

Yeah, there's a real prejudice against them in casual writing. I don't like them much myself, but it's mainly because they're so often misused. When you see a hundred writers make the same mistake, and you have to keep fixing and explaining the error, you can develop a prejudice against the error.


Amanda Borenstadt said...

I don't mind the occasional semicolon, but some new writers overuse them to the point that it's distracting. I tend to overuse the dash, which is also not a good habit.

Alicia said...

I'm sitting this one out. :)


Edittorrent said...

Wise choice, Alicia. This fool rushed in where angels fear to tread.

(Well, maybe not "rushed." That blistering debate was around four years ago, after all.)