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Thursday, 15 August 2013

Evidence that Fran's obsession with grammar decreases not as the years pass

An elegiac sonnet to mark the tragic demise of Mr Semi-Colon




We gather here today to pay respect;
he suffered much but then could take no more.
He lies here now; his time of pain has gone,
released at last from years of being ignored.
His early days had seen him rise to fame
as someone who could punctuate a list
of items far too long for comma use;
he made sure readers wouldn’t lose the gist.
A main achievement was the way he’d join
two sentences; this was so efficacious
when using a full stop was too abrupt
and using a conjunction too loquacious.
                Alas, we used him less and less and less;
                we unappreciated him to death.






Postscript: Inspired by this, Frances Garrood has written a poem about the exclamation mark.  Go
over here now to look at it.  

29 comments:

  1. I love semi-colons. It's annoying that I need my glasses to find them on my phone or I would use them in texts more often...Clever poem Fran :) :)

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    1. Ha ha! Isn't the semicolon the wink? I still don't know how to do that stuff.

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  2. Brilliant poem, and sentiment. I use lots of semicolons; there's nothing that can really replace them. Oh, and colons, of course.

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    1. You are allowed in my club.

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    2. Let's get T shirts printed, shall we? Save the semicolon?

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  3. Fran, I am quite often scared of commenting here as I know my grammar is not what it should be...good poem though! and a lovely photo in the 'about me'.

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    1. I wouldn't dream of commenting on someone's grammar in the comments! (You should see my texts ....) And thanks - the photo was taken by my daughter because I'm doing a gig for a local charity and they wanted a bookish type of photo.

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    2. Oh, Fran. You could have put a semicolon after 'thanks'. A missed opportunity....sigh.

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  4. Please let me know where Mr. Semicolon has been laid to rest so I can send flowers.

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    1. This is the problem, Stephen. No one can find him.

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  5. Perfect; I didn't know Mr.Semi-Colon had died. Thank-you for bringing him to my attention.

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    1. You are welcome. Now I just need to work on the schoolkids.

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  6. A fitting tribute to an unsung hero.

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    1. Unsung. Yes, of course he is. Maybe I should write him a song!

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  7. Well I'm pleased Mr.Semi-colon is dead and gone and I won't be sending flowers. I never knew when to use him him anyway. ;(

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  8. I use semi-colons all the time; some of us still adhere to the old ways.

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  9. I'll take the liberty of thanking you for English teachers everywhere. Now if we could just revive Mr. Fewer, who is being increasingly thrown under the bus (inaccurately) by Mr. Less.

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    1. Ah, no, don't get me started!

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  10. I only recently found out about them, dammit! I'm always slow catching on; I only discovered T-Rex a couple of years ago.

    (Is that a correct usage? Does that make it an 'undead' semicolon?)

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    1. That was a perfectly valid semicolon, bursting with life. (When you say 'T-Rex', are we talking 'Marc Bolan' or 'dinosaurs'?)

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  11. Ah yes! we mourn him now with pain and sorrow;
    But - can we hope he'll rise again tomorrow?

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    1. Indeed, I think we can have hope.
      But will the nation's students cope?

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  12. I'm always afraid I get my punctuation wrong and the Punctuation Police will pounce !
    I have a friend who corrects my spelling mistakes on emails if I haven't bothered with Mr Spellchecker. Why isn't there a Mr Punctuation checker ?

    Save the semicolon !

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    1. You have a FRIEND who corrects your emails? Are you SURE?

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    2. Yes, I asked him when I realized & he said he did. He writes stories & I guess bad spelling is painful for him ! It made me giggle. I sometimes make up words for things so he can't correct them !

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  13. From The 21st Century of Quotations I give you ,
    " We owe respect to the living ; to the dead we only owe truth ." Voltaire .
    And if I am going to be truthful , must confess I hardly ever spare a thought for the dear departed .

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    1. But ... but ... have you never heard of a white lie?..... So blunt. So cruel.

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