5.4.08

the return of the transvestite hermaphrodite.



Yeah! This thread on semicolons is so good. It mentions the word 'transvestite' about 10 times.

I think this is my favourite quotation mainly because it has the phrase (hermetically sealed):

Comment No. 1029180

April 4 9:38
Prague/cze

Neither as enclosed (hermetically sealed) as parentheses nor as catch-all as a hyphen or two; harder than a stop, softer than a comma, it turns a linear corner, the opposite to a colon, which seems demonstrative, like a foreshortened equals sign. Indeed thereĀ“s no symmetry to it since we lack double commas or commas over stops - which is why internet winkers (winkers all) have paralytic astigmatism ;) As an I Ching pairing of ideograms hard is built upon weak; try it in a linear representation and the stop has no time to breathe., it falters., its inevitable triumph questioned at last ;)

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I'm about to link to another article from the Guardian; my reading time has become a bit limited recently due to time constraints. It details the root of this literary drama being French (of course) and to do with insidious Englishness (of course) and has to start with the francophone fetishization of intellectuals, which is galling; why do they always start articles that way? It also quotes Will Self:

I like them - they are a three-quarter beat to the half and full beats of commas and full stops. Prose has its own musicality, and the more notation the better. I like dashes, double-dashes, comashes and double comashes just as much. The colon is an umlaut waiting to jump; the colon dash is teasingly precipitous.
Will Self

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I'm going to put my feet in the water and try using them more. It seems a bit indulgent, but I guess writing a blog is pretty indulgent in the first place.

3 Comments:

Blogger Darlin' said...

I love them; I love them very much.

7/4/08 20:47  
Anonymous Hannah Gregory said...

Once you start popping semi-colons, it's very hard to stop. I had never used one until a couple of years ago, had never even noticed they existed in texts; now I want to put them everywhere. I don't think they're quite the opposite of the colon though, for the second part of a semi-colon divided sentence may well be in correspondence with what the first part started, or wanted to demonstrate. Lynn Truss makes a case for the semi-colon quite convincingly.
(grammar geek)

8/4/08 09:30  
Anonymous Claire Evans said...

Did I show you my semicolon tattoo?

11/4/08 20:39  

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