Wednesday, June 12, 2013

You've Never Let Me Down Before

Dear Semicolon,

I don’t want to use you and toss you away; rather, I wish to show the world my devotion by utilizing you as often as possible. Some people may not understand you, some may use you wrongly, and some may think you are unnecessary, but I promise that I will never mistreat you.

It’s difficult when someone (or some punctuation mark) is being hard to read and isn’t straight-forward, but you have a wonderful ability to step in when things get confusing, like in long lists. You are able to clarify which parts of that list go together, namely when there are internal commas. I’m so grateful that you exist in order for clarity to be preserved.

I am tired of those who are repetitive, a quality which I wish to eschew. The use of the word “and” is valuable, but there can be too much of a good thing, such as when “and” is overused to join two independent clauses together. You can combine them, showing them that they can live with each other and even have a deeper relationship.What joy you produce in bringing them closer together!

Take, for example, the following sentences: “My brother cried” and “The store was out of Mountain Dew.” Anyone related to my brother would realize that there is a causal relationship between the two statements. However, someone unfamiliar with my brother’s drinking proclivities would not. Put a plain period between the two and they have nothing to do with each other. “My brother cried. The store was out of Mountain Dew.” How sad, how lonely those two statements appear. And then you come along and all is made clear. They go together! “My brother cried; the store was out of Mountain Dew.” That is the power you possess. Do you not know your profound worth?

You may be abused or neglected by some; however, there are so many who understand and appreciate everything you do in their lives. You perform a valuable function, and you do it with such grace and elegance that I am left breathless. Never were function and style combined so beautifully into one. You are the classy punctuation mark.

That is why I love you. That is why I wish to treat you with the utmost respect. Oh, semicolon, what would my life be without you? Perish the thought!

Your devoted admirer,

"Extremists think 'communication' means agreeing with them." -Leo Rosten