Skip to content

Grammar on Big Bang Theory: Had will have placed; Had have had brought + semi-colons

March 25, 2015

Am I a member of the Grammar Police? As a college writing teacher, it falls on me to aid students in hearing how punctuation and grammar provides the musical notes that help us make sense of and hear the song in someone’s writing.

In the student academic papers that I read, the most misunderstood–and the most useful– of all punctuation forms is the semi-colon.

images-3That’s right, the semi-colon.
A semi-colon, I point out,
has a period on top of a comma.

The period shows us that the first part of the sentence is a complete idea –and it could function correctly with a period at the end.

The comma shows the reader that the two ideas are connected– the writer wants you to just take a minor pause to take in the ideas of the first part before moving on to the second part.

semi23

Often my students simply show the link between the two complete ideas–the comma. A comma between two complete sentences or ideas is called a comma splice –like in film when two pieces of film are spliced together to make it flow as one.

A comma splice makes it a simple fix–just add the period on top to turn it into a semi-colon and help people understand both the meaning, the musicality, and the connections between the parts of the sentence.

Why are semi-colons so valuable in academic writing?

images-1

They help writers organize complex ideas by showing the linkages, and they make it easier for readers to follow those ideas. Plus they help the paper flow better.

header

Incorrect semi-colon use used to be worse, but according to my students, this Oatmeal cartoon has helped them understand what a semi-colon is, what it does, and how to use it, so here is the link. images-4

 

 

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 25, 2015 12:42 pm

    Reblogged this on whisper down the write alley and commented:

    are you confused by the semi-colon? this blog post will help you get it straight!

  2. Suzy permalink
    March 26, 2015 4:16 am

    I was the “style nazi” at one of the newspapers I worked for. I love this post and the way you described a semicolon as a period on top of a comma. I had never heard it explained the way you laid it out. Also, totally sharing the Oatmeal post on my blog. This starts my day out right; I thank you!

  3. March 26, 2015 8:32 am

    Thanks Suzy! I have never heard anyone else describe a semi-colon that way either–it’s something I am pretty sure I came up with many years ago (15?)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Bottled Bliss

Day-colored wine, night-colored wine, wine with purple feet...

Do Bianchi

Negotiating the Epistemologic Implications of Oenophilia

deborahparkerwong

Global wine culture

Elizabeth Gabay MW

Wine, Food and History: from the Rhone to Piedmont

Budget Trek Kashmir

Family run Company Specialist Trekking in Jammu & Kashmir

Oldfield's Wanderings

Objects in blog are closer than they appear

avvinare

A wine blog by Susannah Gold

Memorable Moments

Adventures & "Bucket" Lists That Keep Life Interesting

Vinos y Pasiones

Todo acerca de bodegas, vinos, gastronomía y enoturismo.

Best Tanzania Travel Guides

from Kilimanjaro to the Serengeti and beyond

LUCAS GILBERT

The Best Guide in Tanzania

Pull That Cork

Wine makes our life more fun.

Always Ravenous

Adventures in Food and Wine

Joy of Wine

"Wine cheereth God and man." -- Judges 9:13

Side Hustle Wino

If you're not having fun, you're not doing right.

Vineyard Son Alegre

Organic Wine And Olive Oil From Santanyí, Mallorca (Spain)

L.M. Archer

wordsmith | consumer, b2b + b2c

What's in that Bottle?

Better Living Through Better Wine!

ENOFYLZ

My humble wine blog

foodwineclick

When food and wine click!

The Flavor of Grace

Helene Kremer's The Flavor of Grace

The Swirling Dervish

Wine Stories, Food Pairings, and Life Adventures

ENOFYLZ Wine Blog

Living La Vida Vino!

Dracaena Wines

Our Wines + Your Moments = Great Memories

L'OCCASION

a reason for wine

Drifting Through

Welcome to the inner workings of my mind

Sonya Huber

books, essays, etc.

THE GRAPE BELT

More People, More Wine

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

poor mexican gone

Yesterday's stories shed light on the way forward

Cindy Ross

Author | Speaker

trailtraveler

Get your copy of Mile 445 today at Amazon.com!

Laura Grace Weldon

Free Range Learning, Creative Living, Gentle Encouragement, Big Questions, Poetry, Occasional Drollery

From Insults To Respect

A Guide To Anger And Conflict Resolution

Wes Chyrchel

CONSULTANT · WORK + LIFE BALANCE · ADVENTURE

Burners.Me: Me, Burners and The Man

Snarky. Cheeky. Grumpy. Dopey. Never Bashful.

%d bloggers like this: