Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lunar and Grammar Rarities

Now here's something you don't see every day. Two somethings, in fact.

1. A total lunar eclipse
Be sure to look at the moon on Wednesday evening around 9:26 CST, as it will appear to be orange or deep red in a total lunar eclipse. The moon will be under the Earth's shadow for almost an hour, which apparently won't happen again until December 2010.

2. A properly used semicolon
New York City transit riders experienced the rare joy of a properly punctuated advertisement featuring that most fastidious of punctuation marks--the semicolon. Rarely attempted because it is so difficult to employ, I must commend Neil Neches for his daring. Anyone who says a semicolon is pretentious probably doesn't know how to use one.

Also, you've got to love the fact that the Times' story on this punctuated perfection featured a small (but ironic) typo of its own, when the reporter forgot a comma in the title of the fantastic book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation.

Now that I think about it, the comma can sometimes be trickier to employ than the semicolon. Just don't use a comma in place of a semicolon; nobody likes a comma splice.


Anonymous said...

I actually do like comma splices. I think they can convey the right emotion sometimes, you might not have the right idea.


Anna said...

I saw that semicolon article too. Even posted it on my Facebook page earlier in the week (btw, how's the temporary Facebook withdrawal going?) I like how he talks about the Son of Sam killer having an even longer "sentence."

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