I Still Love You, Mr. Vonnegut

Semicolons get a bad rap. I’ve heard people say, point-blank, to avoid them like a disease; divide the sentence into two separate sentences if you need to. Even more disheartening was this sass from my hero:

Don’t use semicolons. They stand for absolutely nothing. They are transvestites, hermaphrodites. They’re just a way of showing off, to show that you have been to college. 

                         —Kurt Vonnegut speaking at Albion College, January 1, 2002

Ouch. Do not empower those who judge harshly, I say. The semicolon seems pedantic why—because you’re unsure how to use one? It has the unique power to unite two complete sentences that could stand alone but are related in context, so why separate them? Why not welcome a tool such as this to join two independent clauses into one concise thought? It makes me wonder why the heart is the quintessential symbol of love. “I semicolon you” is perfectly romantic.

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