Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Committee for the Defense of the Semicolon

Ya, the French had briefly attempted to frame it!

The semicolon is alarmingly disappearing and it now looks like a needless and archaic punctuation. It almost seems like a relic, a burden, a needless speedbreaker that has managed to stick around somehow and whose upkeep is solely the responsibility of the fading pre-Internet generations.

How often have I used the semicolon in my blog? Rarely. The way I see it, the comma and semicolon act like a 2-tier speedchecker or segregator of ideas…a technically correct approach towards lucid communication. However, with the emphasis now being on shorter sentences that don’t really call for a sound knowledge of English grammar, the semicolon has been a conspicuous casualty.

I’ll do my bit in preserving the endangered semicolon.



saurabh said...

well, i dont think the semicolon is going anywhere... there are enough software engineers working on Java, C, etc to mark it as an endangered species.
may be from written english, but definitely not in totality ;)

Deepanjan said...

Agreed. A forgotten semicolon has been reason enough for many a compiler driving the programmer insane.