We Love/Hate semicolons! discussion

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"Not using semicolons is a symptom of mental defectiveness." Agree/disagree?

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message 1: by Tom (last edited Sep 11, 2012 09:54AM) (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
"Not using semicolons is a symptom of mental defectiveness, probably induced by camp life." George Bernard Shaw.

Agree/disagree with George?


I explored this subject in my new novella, That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die....

That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die.... by Tom Conrad

It's a fictional love story, Frankie loves the ellipsis, Abbey the semicolon - when they break-up, punctuation spills!

Available on Kindle/Amazon - shameless plug... :)


message 2: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments George Bernard Shaw is a puffed up windbag. So are semi colons. Too formal for fiction. I think they're necessary for non fiction but still don't like 'em.


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
I've said it before, but I'll say it again: - You're a beautiful lady, KJ!


message 4: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Haha. Thanks Tom. *blushing* A colon and a dash. Wow, you're . . . partially windbaggy? Dunno how to read that one. X


message 5: by Terry (new)

Terry Tyler (terrytyler) KJ wrote: "George Bernard Shaw is a puffed up windbag. So are semi colons. Too formal for fiction. I think they're necessary for non fiction but still don't like 'em."

KJ!! How can you write without them? They're not formal, they're the thing you use when it's not a new sentence yet more of a pause than a comma. So there, Blondie. I even use them in tweets and texts, so i certainly use them in novels. In fact, I love them. I love, love, love them, okay??? When people use a comma and it SHOULD be a semi colon it makes me go GRRRRRRRRRRRRRR and you don't want to see me when I'm angry. I become the #rawknot.


message 6: by Starr (new)

Starr Gardinier (starrgardinier) | 3 comments I rarely use them. I don't see a whole lot of 'point' to them in fiction. When I think there may be a need, I question it and see if any other form will work. Usually...something else does.


message 7: by Jade (new)

Jade Varden (jadevarden) I love them! Some sentences just aren't correct without them.


message 8: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Terry wrote: "KJ wrote: "George Bernard Shaw is a puffed up windbag. So are semi colons. Too formal for fiction. I think they're necessary for non fiction but still don't like 'em."

KJ!! How can you write with..."


Oh dear God, really Terry? You must be drinking again blondie! There is a new school of thought that simpler is better especially with fiction. Jump on the train of the modern world and take a ride to the future! ; p


message 9: by Tom (last edited Sep 13, 2012 05:56AM) (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Here's an extract from my novella, That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die.... It's Frankie's view:

‘I really don’t get your objections to the semicolon.’

‘I told you it’s neither one thing nor the other. It’s kind of middleclass.’

‘What on earth does that mean?’

‘You know, it’s not one thing or the other. It works, it’s functional but it has all these damn pretensions. It says ‘look at me, and my airs and graces’.

‘I’m middleclass, do you object to me?’

I tried not to kick my feet.

‘That’s the whole point, you’re not middleclass. Not really.’

‘Uhm, don’t tell me what I am,’ Abbey had replied somewhat indignant.

‘Look I don’t mean you personally, I mean everyone. Class is a crock. It’s just a way of dividing people up. Divide and conquer!’

‘You don’t really believe that, do you?’

I shrugged. Sometimes I did, sometimes I didn’t.

Most of you have stopped reading by now, and that's fair enough, but if you did read, perhaps you'll go read the Look Inside on amazon, and if you like it, you'll buy it. Maybe, perhaps... possibly?

UK http://amzn.to/QvF8ss

US http://amzn.to/QwmiVI


message 10: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Starr wrote: "I rarely use them. I don't see a whole lot of 'point' to them in fiction. When I think there may be a need, I question it and see if any other form will work. Usually...something else does."

I agree, Starr. Word often tells me semicolons are needed, but I'm not listening to the machine. I play around with it. I try to use commas, or change the sentence, or just use a full stop and make it punchier.


message 11: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Look at you workin' the ole goodreads to promo. You go boy. As always you make me smile! Love these rules you put up as we comment. #rawkin it Tom!


message 12: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
KJ wrote: "Look at you workin' the ole goodreads to promo. You go boy. As always you make me smile! Love these rules you put up as we comment. #rawkin it Tom!"

Ha, thanks, KJ. Doing what I can, trying my best!


message 13: by Tom (last edited Sep 12, 2012 08:01PM) (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
KJ wrote: "Look at you workin' the ole goodreads to promo. You go boy. As always you make me smile! Love these rules you put up as we comment. #rawkin it Tom!"

BTW, how's your time-travel book going?


message 14: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Coming along well. Just did cover design voting on my blog kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com if you wanna see the choices. Writing every day. Thanks for asking!


message 15: by Tom (last edited Sep 13, 2012 09:24AM) (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
KJ wrote: "Coming along well. Just did cover design voting on my blog kjwatersauthor.blogspot.com if you wanna see the choices. Writing every day. Thanks for asking!"

Your site is looking great, and I think no.4 is best. I tried to vote in the poll - it wouldn't let me, but defo no. 4 Very professional - well done, Blondie. Let me know when it's out!

P.s. ha, I'd forgotten all about audiobooing, I'm gonna have to try and log into my account again.


message 16: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Yea!Thanks so much Tom! #4 got a lot of votes. Appreciate you checking it out! Means a lot to me. Yea, get back on that boo thingy and send me a message!


message 17: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
KJ wrote: "Yea!Thanks so much Tom! #4 got a lot of votes. Appreciate you checking it out! Means a lot to me. Yea, get back on that boo thingy and send me a message!"

Yeah, think getting people to comment on the cover is a really smart idea, gets them excited and into the book before it's out. I'll boo you up soon!

P.s. I'm breaking my own rules - no mention of punctuation in a about 5 messages. Erm, erm... commas, bloody nightmare aren't they?!


message 18: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Yes, damn commas! I'm actually minimalist on commas as well. Bet my editor won't like that, but I think it's more modern. Your book sounds really funny, but what else would I expect from you, Tom, with your brilliantly creative and quite humorous mind.

Thanks for your comments on the cover. I do think that getting people involved in the cover designs makes them feel like a part of the novel and hopefully that will translate into buying the book and or helping me promote it. We shall see when I get this baby done. Thank you so much too for wanting to know when it's out! Send me a promo tweet for your book. I'd like to help out with that, maybe a mention on my facebook or Pinterest as well.


message 19: by Starr (new)

Starr Gardinier (starrgardinier) | 3 comments Tom wrote: "Starr wrote: "I rarely use them. I don't see a whole lot of 'point' to them in fiction. When I think there may be a need, I question it and see if any other form will work. Usually...something else..."

Word is not always correct with grammar or punctuation. For me, reading it aloud if I question something really helps.


message 20: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Yep, machines only go so far.

And reading aloud is definitely a good tip, unless you have my accent and then everything sounds shocking.

Thanks, Starr.


message 21: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
KJ wrote: "Yes, damn commas! I'm actually minimalist on commas as well. Bet my editor won't like that, but I think it's more modern. Your book sounds really funny, but what else would I expect from you, Tom, ..."

A guy called James Frey barely used punctuation in one of his novels - he won some prestigious prize. I think it's good to experiment with punctuation. If people read my novella, they'll discover I do... experiment.

And yeah, think people will respond to what you've done. The cover is great, and the site looks cool. I love the LIVE traffic feed, ha!


message 22: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Yes, but some of us LOVE your accent and don't mind shocking, Tom. I'll buy your book if you read it to me. Tee hee.


message 23: by Starr (new)

Starr Gardinier (starrgardinier) | 3 comments Tom wrote: "Yep, machines only go so far.

And reading aloud is definitely a good tip, unless you have my accent and then everything sounds shocking.

Thanks, Starr."


The land of punctuation...semicolons, commas, periods, hyphens and the like...what do they all do? Thrust upon the reader inflections meant by the author. What I mean to say is (comma) we don't all speak in one long sentence without breathing. Occasionally (comma) we need to pause or come to a complete stop. 'Tis the land of punctuation.


message 24: by K.J. (new)

K.J. Waters (kjwatersauthor) | 9 comments Agreed, but we don't need a comma every time you might breath. My words don't need to breath, they're just find going on and on and on and on. See. Not even blue. It's old fashioned and gets in the way when you have too much punctuation mussing up the page with their wee dots, squiggles and dashes. On an aside, I have a twitter friend who uses zero punctuation. Kinda sexy. ;)


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