Before I picked up Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark, I was not aware that this, to me, innocuous and helpful punctuation mark could generate much passion. But the book opens with this quote, “The semicolon has become so hateful to me that I feel almost morally compromised when I use it.” Really? Even when the mark is used properly? In any case, the author takes us through the creation, history, and usage of the semicolon, including some amusing examples of misplaced ones that created serious legal challenges. She also confesses that she once gave up using dashes for Lent. How’s that for punctuation passion?
It’s a fun, short, and spirited book. As a bonus, enjoy the wonderful woodcut illustrations that start each chapter.