Yesterday, I received an e-mail regarding the story I wrote about semicolons for Ragan.com. The e-mail came from Trevor Butterworth—if that is your real name—an Irish writer based in Washington, D.C.
He offered his congratulations on my article and then shared a piece he wrote in 2005 for the Financial Times, in which he defends the semicolon at length. This is good stuff for punctuation fans.
“Indeed, part of the semicolon’s mystique is the way that it wantonly gives itself to great writing without offering a clear rule for lesser writers to follow,” Butterworth wrote. “This has perturbed pedants everywhere English is written, leading to the widespread conviction that the semicolon should, on principle, be avoided.”
Here’s Mr. Butterworth’s story in full.