Offer me extra credit; I will do whatever it takes to earn it

When I shifted from public school to Catholic school to private school, one thing that remained consistent was my desire to please my teachers.  I admit it; I was a total nerd back in the days when “nerd” was not as auspicious a label to have as it is now.  One day, my 9th grade English teacher, weary of poor grammar and spelling, offered to give one extra credit point for each proper use of a semicolon in our assignments.  In response, I did the following: reviewed the punctuation rules; wrote my paper on how we should actually pity rather than condemn Grendel’s mother for having lost her son to the cruel Beowulf; and tested the waters with a single semicolon.  SUCCESS!  Before I knew it, I was addicted; I once managed to squeeze no less than ten semicolons in a single page of homework on the subject of foreshadowing in Wuthering Heights.  The result?  A whopping 110%!  Top of the class, baybeeee!

Recently, a friend of mine shared a link to a set of brilliant and informative instructions on how to use a semicolon.  I found that the writing was clear; the graphics were illustrative; and the examples were sublime.  If the line “dinosaurs are all about high fives” doesn’t grab Yasmine’s attention and the line “Godzilla is a misunderstood creature; beneath his raging desire to set people on fire and eat them lies a gentle giant who just wants to cuddle” doesn’t grab Gojira’s attention, then I don’t know what will.

Learn it; love it; live it.

Hat tip: Nazia


3 responses to “Offer me extra credit; I will do whatever it takes to earn it

  1. Like! Like! A thousand times like!

    (Apologies not mustering a semicolon in my comment. Perhaps my thinking is too fractured this morning; thoughts are not connecting well.)

  2. baji, you had me at “grammar.”
    and “spelling.”
    and, okay, PUNCTUATION.


    thanks for the highfive-referencing shout-out! made me laugh =)

    (“nothing can stop true love. use a semi-colon, you fool!” hahahahaha)

  3. zora – ha; ha; ha!

    yz – anytime you say/write the words “true love,” i can’t help but imagine you saying it in the manner of The Princess Bride’s priest.

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