It is 1 December, it is Friday and what I have to do today is to mark dissertation proposals (I work in a university, after all). However, instead of concentrating on what matters the most (my students’ aim and objectives, literature review and methodological statements), I keep stopping and marking with a red pen obvious grammar errors (or horrors). Now, (almost) everybody’s first or second draft is full of them (mine certainly is), but you would expect some sort of proofreading before submitting an official document, right? Apparently not. One of the main offenders is the universally dreaded semicolon, which seems to be on the verge of grammatical extinction.
And that would be damn good, because it is almost always used in a wrong way, together with the Oxford comma. So, kids, my advice is: however beautiful and stylish it might look, DON’T use it. Period. For the brave souls out there, here’s the advice number two in a graphic format (courtesy of The Oatmeal).
In case you feel inspired by the plague rat -I don’t know where they got the idea, but I was instantly hooked- and want the whole page, here it is. For some more formal (but equally serious) guidance, you might check:
University of Leicester Grammar Resources.
Purdue University Online Writing Lab.
And, for the truly lazy, I recommend an investment in an online checking grammar tool that works not that bad, semicolon included: Grammarly.
Happy Writing, everybody!