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    As always, Caryn, BIG UPS! The fight for politeness in print, pride in one’s work, care for one’s readers and striving for understanding in all communications needs all the muscle we can muster – especially where the innocent victims of grammatical collateral damage such as the semi-colon are concerned.

    BTW where can I find more information on the Plain English campaign? There is one (and only one) pharmaceutical company that is taking the highest standards of SA English seriously, and it needs our support.

  2. 2

    Caryn Gootkin

    Thanks, Llewellyn.
    If you google Plain Language (rather than Plain English), you will find a wealth of resources.

  3. 3

    Matthew Salzwedel

    Good article. @mededitor is correct that “[w]here a semicolon is called for, no other mark of punctuation will be superior. And then you know. It’s all about feeling. You try a comma, not enough break. You try a period, it’s too much.”

    But I’m confused about the three different ways you spelled semicolon. In the lead it’s “semi colon”; in the first sentence it’s “semi-colon”; and in the rest of the column it’s “semicolon.” OED says it’s one word, and that’s what I follow. //

  4. Pingback: The humble full stop: from plain language to haplography | In Other Words

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