or, stuff that I dragged out of my head

Location: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

Thursday, August 21, 2008


It it something in the water? The drooping economy? The Olympics? Yet another piece about the death of the semicolon, this time in the Boston Globe. (The last one, which I've already talked about, wasn't even two months ago.)

This time around, the argument is that the semicolon is not manly enough, as Kurt Vonnegut alluded to when he cretinously termed it a "transvestite hermaphrodite".

Well, really, when you get right down to it, is even the comma man enough? That little swishy curve, that coy insistence that you pause before getting back to the sentence! How disgracefully womany can you get? And question marks are even worse. They force you to stop altogether and to doubt yourself, which no real man would ever consider doing. Real men don't ask; they assert. And they don't stop and ponder; they just do, and damn the consequences.

Men clearly ought to make do with periods and exclamations marks and perhaps the em-dash. Those ought to be all the punctuation a really masculine writer ever needs. Blunt ram-it-home subject-verb-object sentences with no pauses and no second thoughts. That's how a real man writes. None of this pansified Henry James semicolon-strewn compound-complex multi-clause bullshit.


Blogger D.J. said...

Salon's "Broadsheet" picked up the same Boston Globe story (http://tinyurl.com/5dtuct) and solicited opinions from a buncha women. I think the best response was the last one:

Lynn Harris: Wait. And the period is manly?

Thursday, August 21, 2008 7:30:00 PM  
Blogger pyramus said...

Oh, that's good.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 8:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oooh girrrl, that semicolonless sentence left me BEYOND nelly!

Friday, August 22, 2008 3:39:00 AM  

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