In a society such as ours, every family must eventually confront significant stress and face dark secrets. Mine is no exception. Granted, I have not had to deal with either of my (extremely superior) children abusing drugs or alcohol, but addictions come in many forms and I have faced the soul sucking despair that only the mother of a serial semi-coloner can experience. That’s right, my son is addicted to semi-colons. While other families argue about tattoos, crack cocaine and meth, I have been locked in a fierce pitched battle with my youngest over his wildly inappropriate use of this, IMHO, largely obsolete punctuation mark. Sure it looks good on paper and might create the perception of “intelligence,” but why, in a world with perfectly good full stops, colons, ellipses and em-dashes would one risk grammatical suicide by the accidental misplacement of an extraneous mark? It keeps me awake at night.
Update: I finally confronted him in a spontaneous “intervention” in the car. I told him that I understood the attraction to semi-colons; they are fresh, whimsical and readily available, but that I was concerned that his seeming addiction to this sly punctuation mark might impair his literary judgment. It is worse than I thought. He told me that semi-colons are “superior” and “awesome” and that some might even say they are the “king of punctuation marks.” Alarmed, I asked him who else was involved in this conspiracy to interrupt the lyrical flow of sentences; who else thought semi-colons were “awesome” and he said, “me and my friend Nate.” I don’t know this “Nate” character, but clearly he is not a good influence.