covered our Semicolon's Dream Journal
this week. In her witty and mirthful defense of the semicolon, columnist Martha Brockenbrough
, author of Things That Make Us (Sic)
Best, however, is the advocacy of Craig Conley, America's most creative and diligent scholar of letters, words and punctuation. To wit: Conley has created a punctuation mark (the rhetorical question mark), he has written a book of one-letter words, and he is so closely related to the semicolon's spirit that he has been appointed official keeper of its dream journal.
That's right, all you haters. The semicolon has dreams: dreams of rest and relaxation at Semicolon Lakes, of conversations about Shakespeare with the mischievous Puck, and even -- gasp -- of the nightmare that is semicolon cancer.
As Conley explained his close relationship with the semicolon, "I first dreamed that I was a semicolon when I was 6 years old. I vividly recall the uncanny experience of being frozen betwixt two closely related sentences. They called me 'the Go-Between.' In my dream, the words all glowed with an otherworldly green life force. Little surprise, then, that when I got my first IBM PC a decade later, typing my first glowing green semicolon brought the dream rushing back. For the past two decades, I've kept a dream journal from the semicolon's point of view."
Conley is happy when semicolons visit not just his dreams, but his discourse. He agrees with the music essayist Steven Harvey, who said in "Bound for Shady Grove" that the semicolon creates a "ringing emptiness" that "clears a space," a space for sacred silence that seals thoughts together. And he quotes Jesus Urzagasti from "In the Land of Silence," who said semicolons give us the air we need.
It's true, Conley said, that semicolons are asymmetrical. Beauty and symmetry are traditionally linked. But who doesn't admire the crooked Venus de Milo, who is one decapitated head away from being a sculptural semicolon herself?
Read the full article here