Semicolons

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Classic job interview advice:  if asked to lunch, never order the spaghetti. Long, saucy pasta strands are almost impossible to eat with aplomb. Semicolons are the punctuation equivalent of a spaghetti dish. Read more…

Punctuation anxiety

I once graded an essay so heavily marked with commas and apostrophes that it resembled a spray of ink dots more than it did writing. My student, pink with embarrassment, admitted his personal rule of thumb had always been to alternate “loads” of punctuation on one assignment with “zip” on the next. He assumed he’d be right about half the time either way.

How can anxiety over punctuation rules be avoided? Stop looking at sentences and wondering whether the correct rule has been applied. Instead, Read more…