Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Dying Words -- I Should Have Used Fewer Semicolons

A classic use of the colon is as a kind fulcrum between two antithetical or oppositional statements:

Man proposes: God disposes.

And as Shaw put it so well, the colon can simply pull up the reader for a nice surprise:

I find with only three things in this story of yours, Jenkins: the beginning, the middle and the end.

So colons introduce the part of a sentence that exemplifies, restates, elaborates, undermines, explains or balances the preceding part. (pp. 119-120)

... [The] main place for putting a semicolon... is between two related sentences where there is no conjunction such as "and"or "but", and where a comma would be ungrammatical:

I loved Opal Fruits; they are now called Starburst, of course. (p. 121)

... I have been told that the dying words of one famous 20th-century writer were, "I should have used fewer semicolons" — and although I have spent months fruitlessly trying to track down the chap responsible, I believe it none the less. If it turns out that no one actually did say this on their deathbed, I shall certainly save it up for my own. (p. 127)


「ネットの引っかかり」は多分3日の日曜日からだと思う。改善されていない。MS Wordに問題はないから、Windowsのトラブルではないはずだ。


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