Surviving Grammar’s Serial Killer

by Michael


Since October is the designated month of fright, it’s fitting to include semicolons as part of this month’s web series’ entries. Although I am an English major, the little symbol that seems to have nonsensically grouped a period and a comma together still trips me up on occasion, too. After some serious reflection, I have come to the conclusion that – if equated to scary Halloween movies – the semicolon would be the quintessential slasher film killer Michael Myers, and those of us who are too fearful to include the grammatical mechanic in our writings are likened to the innocent Jamie Lee Curtis, doomed to run around screaming and hiding in closets in an attempt to survive. Unlike Jamie’s character, however, we’re not lucky enough to have a wire hanger to defend ourselves against grammatical error…C’est la vie. We do, on the other hand, have our very own resources to improve and learn about the absurd and unnaturally confusing semicolon so that you don’t fall prey to its evil ways.

To get ahead on your semicolon knowledge, download and print The Learning Hub’s semicolon handout. It is a glorious document that will help you become more independent and confident with your writing skills, because let’s face it, if you can understand and properly use a semicolon, any other grammar issues you may have will be easier to mend. Actually, maybe not. But possibly.

The point is: semicolons are difficult to understand, and since many millennial students have not been given a grammar lesson since their Hooked on Phonics days in the first grade, I cannot blame you for your lack of knowledge on the topic. It’s not your fault that you were never taught critical thinking skills at school. However, as young adults in college, you are now held to higher standards. You must learn to fend for yourselves. I advise you to overcome the menacing semicolon, and steer yourself away from being its victim. Avoid being like Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. Avoid being her mother, Janet Leigh, in Psycho. Instead, be like Neve Campbell in Scream. And if you’re a dude, be like David Arquette. Or LL Cool J in Deep Blue Sea. Sure, the semicolon is intimidating and downright scary for some students, but if you step up and use your resources and ask for help, you can survive the semicolon, and you can even get through the dreadful month that is October.

If you click on the link above the handout, it will take you to our home site, where you can check out other resources to improve your writing skills and prepare you for academic, professional, and civic writing.

UIS The Learning Hub Handouts


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