Respect the Humble Semi-Colon

Posted on Apr 3, 2017

The semi-colon: a 1% edge, and a shibboleth*

Would 99% of your audience even notice if you misused a semi-colon? Probably not. This leaves 1% who would notice — and they’d take you more seriously.

Punctuation pumps up perception. Look at any FB comment section – the sprawling mess of regurgitated word salad makes people sound irredeemably stupid. The (rare) comment that contains no spelling or punctuation errors is a welcome oasis. Lesson: if fortune offers you a 1% edge, grab it.

A well-placed semi-colon might be a shibboleth to separate you from the barbarians at the gate.

Naturally…

The semi-colon, we confess, isn’t always top-of-mind when writing. Commas and dashes come more naturally, especially when writing in fevered creativity. It is during crucial editing and proofing stages we must add precise punctuation polish.

Do it, or let us do it.

We have 30 years of copywriting, editing, and semi-colon cheering experience. Together, we can improve your brand message and strategy (semi-colons included). Think you’ve written something we couldn’t improve? Test us.

Fill out the form to talk about semi-colons and making your words more effective

*Used by the Gileadites as test to detect the fleeing Ephraimites, who could not pronounce the sound “sh” (Judges 12:4-6). 42,000 dead bodies later, we see imprecise language as deadly serious.