Quibbling Over Semicolons and Sawdust

When my high school English teacher taught the class the proper use of semicolons, I never quite understood the concept, even though I asked her to explain it to me further after class.

All these years later, I still question whether I use them correctly.

I have numerous grammar books to help with my semicolon dilemma. Noah Lukeman’s book, A Dash of Style has this to say.

It is hard to underuse the semicolon, since a work can exist perfectly well without one. That said, there are cases when it is called for…

Oy, vey.

So why am I discussing semicolons today?

Well, it’s all our son, Pie’s, fault.

One of Pie’s college degrees is Journalism. He wrote for several newspapers both in Florida and Texas before putting his skills to use in the space industry where he often works with non-native English speaking international partners.

During one particular meeting, one of the international partners corrected Pie on his semicolon use.

To which Pie replied, “I don’t use semicolons.”

Dilemma solved.

Quibbling over semicolons this way led me to think of a time Jesus said do not judge, or you too will be judged.

 

He told the multitudes not to look at the speck of sawdust in someone else’s eye without first paying attention to the plank in their own.

Jesus warned we must remove the plank from our eyes before we can help anyone else.

I know at times I misuse semicolons, even though I try not to.

I also know at times I unjustly criticize and find fault, even though Jesus told us not to.

How can we help someone remove the speck of sawdust from their eyes when we can’t see past the huge beams in our own?

Do you have problems with quibbling over semicolons, or with quibbling over sawdust?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

I wish you well.

Sandy

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