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So first of all, I'm sorry for my post yesterday. Well, I'm not sorry for the post, but I'm sorry for going along all happy and then dropping the bad news like a brick at the end. I didn't mean to write it that way, but that was the way it hit me yesterday so I guess that's how it came out. I considered going back and adding a disclaimer, but I just couldn't stand to look at it. Also, thank you all for your kind and caring comments. I usually try really hard to answer all my comments, but on that one I just don't have the heart. So a great big global thanks to all of you and please forgive me for not replying.

I was planning to write this big long post about death and pain and suffering and about how I support someone's right to decide that they are in too much pain and don't want to do it anymore but about how that support is much harder to apply to someone who is only 36 and who really was like a brother to me for a lot of my life and how maybe that is how it always feels to the people left behind even if the person is 96. But that just depressed the hell out of me. Then I was going to write this post about my two oldest childhood friends and about how I still talk to one but not the other and about how they are both going through some really terrible things right now and how awful it seems that I can't do anything to help either of them. Which is selfish, yes; because it would make me feel better, but also not selfish because these are people I care about and I just want to make it better for them so they will stop being hurt. Then I thought that you can't ever really do that. You can try, and sometimes you can help a bit, but there is nothing you can do to take away someone else's pain. So that just depressed the hell out of me too.

So here's what I have instead. (Which I realize doesn't quite work since I've already put all the miserable stuff at the top, but I'm very tired so I'm going with whatever I get.)

1. I have no idea when you are supposed to use a semi-colon. Whenever the handy dandy Microsoft program I'm using recommends a semi-colon, I say sure, throw one of those bad boys in there. I sure hope that Bill Gates knows when you are supposed to use a semi-colon, otherwise he is making me look bad.

2. Cassie-b sent us the greatest pair of baby booties that she made her own self with her very own hands. At least she claims she made them herself, but they are knitted and are all nice and even and perfect and based on my own knitting experiences I don't think that is actually possible to do. But, she claims that she made them so I will trust her on that. I am going to post a picture of them soon and you will all be jealous and start clamoring for your own and Cassie-b will have to start making baby booties full time. However, I feel I have to admit that I very nearly made myself unable to post a picture of the baby booties because I am pregnant and sleep deprived and stupid. You see, I opened the incredibly well-taped box (ah my friend, you are a woman after my own heart) and admired the lovely booties and then I promptly put the box with the booties still inside out with the recycling. I did remember though and went tearing outside in my bathrobe and my husband's shoes to rescue them before any harm could befall them. You all should have been there; because I'm sure I looked really funny and also because maybe one of you would have reminded me not to throw away the baby gifts. I'll learn, really I will.

3. See, there are two semi-colons in this post, but inserted on the say-so of Bill Gates. Anybody wanna tell me if they are correct?

Comments (28)

Darn! I was hoping you could tell me how to use that damn semicolon. I have no idea - never use them.

I use them is to hook together two thoughts that could also be hooked with an 'and, because, although' type word.

When in doubt, though, I turn to an expert: (down, down... no, farther. At the end of the page.)

I can't tell you how many gifts I've thrown away by accident. Last year I threw away a $50 gift card to Books A Million. I'm still mad at myself for that!

I have no idea when you're supposed to use semi-colons. I think I was absent from school the day they went over that.

according to the APStyle Guidelines (which I have a subscription to because I'm a dork who sucks at punctuation.) the semicolon is used to "indicate a greater separation of thought and information than a comma can convey but less than the separation that a period implies."

I tend to use it mostly in lists where items have to be set off by commas (commas are the bane of my existance. they hate me. this i know to be true.). The whole independent clause thing is a hit or miss with me. Eh. Let Bill decide. If someone calls you on it tell them to call the Microsoft Support desk.

I throw away gifts often, like a $15 dollar target giftcard from Christmas. Grrr.

Speaking of gifts, Beth...I pulled out the Winnie the Pooh outfit that someone gave Ruby. It is defintely the one that matches your bib. Since my baby is actually SUPERBABY in disguise and at 8 weeks is wearing 6 month size clothes, there is no doubt she'll outgrow this outfit LONG before your baby is born. If you like, I can send it to you in a couple of months. Let me know. It's SUPER cute. There are little Pooh Bear faces on the feet and ears on the hood of the jacket. See...I told you, super cute!

Semi-colons confound me. I have no idea.

If I send you duck socks, you have to promise to not throw them away.

1) Never trust Bill Gates on punctuation. 2) The way you have used them is technically correct; however, (see I used a semi-colon with "however" there to link together two independent clauses instead of making two separate sentences. An independent clause has a noun and a verb and could technically stand alone (hence, the word "independent." A dependent clause also has a noun and a verb (otherwise it would simply be a phrase), but cannot stand alone. An example: Even though we were riding the bus. This cannot stand alone: having "even though" at the beginning makes it a clause (We were riding the bus. That is a sentence), because it suggests that something more is to come.), I would have used the semi-colon in a couple of other places. Example: I sure hope that Bill Gates knows when you are supposed to use a semi-colon, otherwise he is making me look bad. I would have used a semi-colon after the world "semi-colon" in that sentence. Not that you had to, mind you; I just like semi-colons. Not that you had to, mind you. I just like semi-colons.

Sorry. I am a big geek.

Use a semicolon to separate clauses that could stand as sentences on their own. For example: "I have a dog, you have a dog." would be incorrect, it should read "I have a dog; you have a dog."

I too am semicolon illiterate. And of all the explanations in your comments, thanks Elizabeth for putting it in terms that my small brain can understand working on only a cup of coffee this morning. ;)

Semi-colons make my brain hurt!

Know what I think?

Of course you don't that's why I'm leaving a tell you.

Your post yesterday was perfect. No apology neccessary. I think it left your readers feeling what you felt (at least a little) You presented the news the way it was presented to you.
That's good writing in my not-so-humble-opinion.

Sorry, groovebunny! Thanks, Elizabeth!

I just slam 'em in the same way you do. When Bill says so.

At least you had a robe on! I went out the other night to get something on my porch and realized that I was in my boxers, not my shorts! I'm pretty sure I traumatized my neighbors!

I think that someone could devote an entire blog to the correct use of semi-colons. They are so mysterious. I prefer to throw out commas with reckless abandon. Does Bill Gates know when to use commas correctly?

Semicolon is one word.

I usually refer to my copy of Strunk & White's "Elements of Style" for questions like this.

Semicolons are just for winkin', baby. ;)

I'm such a geek. I love semicolons. Not awake enough to use one right now though, except like this ;)

so if I make it myself it's ok to send???....must make trip to hobby lobby

A couple of things: (ah-ha a colon)

First of all, I am sorry to hear about your old friend's brother. I can't imagine the shock you felt even if you haven't really spoken to him in a while.

Second of all, I think it's just part of life to go through bad patches. I don't think it's selfish to want to write how your friend is going through a rough spot in life. Actually, it makes me feel pretty good that there may be someone out there who I haven't talked to in awhile who may be thinking of me and my misery (not that I'm completely miserable).

Lastly, I think you're supposed to use semi-colons to link a series together (like a super comma). So, you'd use it not to link simple stuff together (e.g., apples, oranges, and pears) but to put longer phrases together (e.g., She went to the store to get some apples; to the dry cleaners for her pants; and to the video store for a DVD.) Also, you're supposed to use a semicolon to link related sentences.

I could be wrong - I just had 2 martinis with a friend at lunch today, my day off.


I tried to recycle my marriage license one time.

(oh. and we can't take away their pain, but we can be there for the to cuss out or beat up to try to help them ease their own pain. Thats what I do. I dont offer a shoulder to cry on. I offer a face to cuss out. My friends are obviously not sunday school teachers - heh).

Ah, the semicolon. It plagues me daily at work. I would hasten to say; do not trust Bill Gates. On anything. Grammar or otherwise.
I used a semicolon there, no doubt incorrectly. Don't trust me either when it comes to semicolons.

I've always questioned that is has the word "colon" in it....

I depend upon HG for my semi-colon instruction. She teaches college writing so she must know about it, right? Go here and read all about the semi-colon:

The seventh grade Engilsh teacher must love them because by the time I get the kids, their papers are riddled with semis. It's a love affair....

What Jon in Michigan said. I don't ever use semi-colons, except for when I'm using emoticons. *lol*

first, i'm very sorry to hear about Rob. your post had an interesting effect on me... a guy i knew growing up (my aunt's godson) passed away after Christmas very suddenly. he was 28. i wasn't terribly close to him, but it was like he was family just the same. if i blogged about it, i think i'd have written a post in a similar structure to the one you did.

and i have no idea about semi-colons either. i don't even trust Bill Gates so i ignore virtually every grammar suggestion he gives me.

Well you are a mother do guilt really well! : )

It's all ok. The shock you felt about your friend's death is just how we felt when reading your post. Grief is an odd thing.

I, tend, to, overuse, commas. I, know, nothing, about; semicolons. Except that my mom has a semicolon because of several colon surgeries. ;)

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So the Fish Said...

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