We Love/Hate semicolons! discussion

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Why I decided to write That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die.... by Tom Conrad

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message 1: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Listen, let’s get this straight from the very off, I don’t use semicolons in my writing, not quite a comma, not quite a full stop... but that’s my choice, that (atm) is my style. Maybe it’s a mild form of punctuation OCD but when I have used them in the past (I know how they work), I always had to go back and delete, delete and delete some more. They look ugly to me, maybe archaic/flowery and as if I’m about to descend into Shakespeare or Chaucer.... I don’t like them.

And yet, at the same time, I can see their appeal. The lucidity, the flow sometimes works really well; I get it. I’ve certainly never “not” read a book because a writer chose to use them, and I fully accept my ellipsis abuse may look equally ugly to others.

Basically, what I’m trying to say is this:

A, Don’t be a stickler of an ass. Judge books by their underlying content of ideas and opinion.

B, Don’t take offence if you’re a writer who uses semicolons. I’m not having a bop at you or suggesting people shouldn’t read books that embrace this winky symbol.

That’s right, despite my new book, That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die.... I don't personally bash those who use semicolons. I was/am just taking on a persona to promote my ebook. I thought the dividing line of two writers in love could be symbolised by their stance on semicolons. The semicolon therefore becomes a symbol of middle class values, of being a stickler, being fussy about style over substance and the ellipsis becomes plucky and devil may care.

But why semicolons?

I chose semicolons because I realised I didn’t use a solitary one in my first novel, I wondered why not, was it purely coincidental or some previously dormant/unrealised prejudice lying deep within my unconscious. There was an entry point. Upon further research, I also understood there was all this baggage with the semicolon: - Vonnegut, Bernard Shaw, Truss, Woolf. It all fitted.

Hopefully, if you choose to read my ebook (it’s only short) you'll understand the title and get to thinking about the points I make.

My novella - That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die.... is available on amazon/kindle.

US http://amzn.to/QwmiVI

UK http://amzn.to/QvF8ss


message 2: by Tim (new)

Tim Fairchild (timfairchild) Nicely put, Tom! I get the same critique from NOT using the dreaded Oxford comma.:-)


message 3: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Tim wrote: "Nicely put, Tom! I get the same critique from NOT using the dreaded Oxford comma.:-)"

Thanks, Tim, I actually acknowledge my own inconsistency with the Oxford comma in my author's note, at the every end of That Semicolon Bitch Had To Die.... Nice to know I'm not alone in this!

Hope you drop by again!


message 4: by Kristine (new)

Kristine Kucera | 2 comments Tom wrote: "Tim wrote: "Nicely put, Tom! I get the same critique from NOT using the dreaded Oxford comma.:-)"

Thanks, Tim, I actually acknowledge my own inconsistency with the Oxford comma in my author's note..."


First of all, I love the group rules. They are perfect!

Secondly, I am on the other side of the coin - strictly using oxford commas and heavy with the semicolons.

For me the oxford comma is simply about accuracy - with no question of interpretation; but, I admit I use the semicolon more as a writing style than anything else.

I'm not militant about either the oxford comma for semicolon - I just like to use them and I like how they look in my writing. This is an interesting topic.

I'll be sure to check out your novella - as I like the idea of punctuation as an unconscious class value consideration!


message 5: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Thanks, Kristine.

I think that's the key - not being militant or fussy about it all. Really glad you like the idea behind my novella, and please let me know if you do check it out, and your thoughts!

I went Oxford style in this post.


message 6: by Kristine (new)

Kristine Kucera | 2 comments Thanks, I appreciate the Oxford style effort! I did download your book - looking forward to reading it.


message 7: by Tom (new)

Tom Conrad (tom_conrad) | 28 comments Mod
Kristine wrote: "Thanks, I appreciate the Oxford style effort! I did download your book - looking forward to reading it."

I'm looking fwd to you reading it... :) Thanks so much, Kristine. Is great knowing people are reading it. Hope you enjoy and please let me know!


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