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Why do people hate semicolons? I love them. I read somewhere that it's because using them in writing doesn't make sense, since people don't speak with them, but I us them when speaking a lot.


They hate them because most writers use them incorrectly, and most writers are busy telling themselves they can use the things correctly when they're wrong. 99% of the time, the writer in question could/should use a full-stop or a comma instead.


There are other things in writing which are like that. Ellipses (...) are a big one. Overuse and incorrect use makes an author read as 'amateurish'. I lapse into using them when my focus is off, I admit.


Safest bet is to avoid using both of the things. If you have a lot of feedback, you then introduce them periodically and take criticism on that front to heart, to make sure you're applying them well and you aren't hurting the semicolon cause.


There are other things in writing which are like that. Ellipses (...) are a big one. Overuse and incorrect use makes an author read as 'amateurish'. I lapse into using them when my focus is off, I admit.


This is true. I knew what dangerous territory I was treading into when I decided that my main character would make VERY frequent use of ellipses. Rather than laying it safer, however, I took several steps to demonstrate to readers that this was purposeful, because it's simply far too valuable a tool for his characterization. That being said, I'm sure there are still some folks who see the first page and are immediately turned off by it.


I can't even remember how to use a semicolon. One of the good things about blog fic, though, is that informal or incorrect can be used to show character. Just another example of how you choose to write affecting how you may choose to write.


I thought this semicolon comic was cute and informative: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/semicolon


I like semicolons, although I try not to use them because when I read other books they always stand out.


We never focussed on them in school, as with did with commas, periods, etc - so I think of people would rather avoid using them, rather than seem as though they don't know what they're doing.


I think that since semicolons are less frequently used overall, they end up being more noticeable to the reader. Because of this, it tends to break immersion.