Semicolon Wars

Where do you stand on the great semicolon debate?


Is it a woman’s punctuation mark?  “Girly,” “odious,” and “the most pusillanimous, sissified, utterly useless mark of punctuation ever invented.”

James Kilpatrick says so: See The Sissy Semicolon


Semicolons don’t work well in dialog. Do Americans (as opposed to the British) tend to avoid semicolons in order to write as people speak?

Ian Jack thinks it might be so: See Mark of Friendship


Users of semicolons include: Michael Kinsley, “one of the most gifted editors and writers of his generation in the US, having edited The New Republic and Harper’s and launched the online magazine Slate among other accomplishments”; Gore Vidal; Louis Menand, Pulitzer- winning critic at The New Yorker; and of course, the oldies like Evelyn Waugh and everyone before him.

Trevor Butterworth likes them: See Pause Celebre