1. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Punctuation Semi colon or comma?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Alesia, Dec 28, 2013.

    Is the semi-colon (red) appropriate here, or should that be a comma or possibly em dash?
     
  2. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Actually, both semi-colon uses require a comma instead.

    "My blood pressure was steadily rising, each passing second drawing me closer to smacking her." A semi-colon would be okay here if the tense was different e.g. "steadily rising; each passing second drew me closer to smacking her."

    And yes, the second use of the semi-colon is incorrect as well; it requires a comma.

    Just in case you want to, read this for further help regarding the use of semi-colons: http://grammar.about.com/od/punctuationandmechanics/a/semicolon09.htm
     
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  3. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    Thank you. Out of every punctuation mark in the English language, the semi-colon is still the number one offender in my "I don't know how the heck I'm supposed to use this" dictionary.
     
  4. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Alright, @Thomas Kitchen got it just right.
     
  5. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    A semicolon is used between two closely related independent clauses, but in your example, the sentences after the semicolon are not independent clauses. In the second case, you could write "was tingling" and use either a semicolon or a period.
     
  6. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    More like this then?

    My blood pressure was steadily rising, each passing second drawing me closer to smacking her. How dare she? I’d been standing there dressed in nothing more than a beige skirt suit, stockings, and heels; my body was numb from the frigid winter air, and she’d had the nerve to say she was freezing? Now I wanted to kill her.
     
  7. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    Perfect. :)
     
  8. Nyghtfall
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    Nyghtfall Member

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    Wow. I had no idea the semicolon was so hated. I should probably stop using it myself.
     
  9. Alesia
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    Alesia Pen names: AJ Connor, Carey Connolly Contributor

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    I don't hate it, I just don't know how to use it properly. :D
     
  10. Nyghtfall
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    Nyghtfall Member

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    I was referring to the article Thomas linked to, in response to your original post.
     
  11. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    A friend of mine had a portion of his colon removed. Now, he has a semicolon.
     

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