We had an interesting conversation in my high school creative writing class this week. One of the students started a sentence with and, and, of course, the more grammarly types thought that he should not.
Being the kind of teacher who does not like to let any potential lesson pass, I delved in. That is what I would like to “teach” here today–but first let’s go back to those earlier lessons on compound sentences and comma use–and, of course, what a coordinating conjunction is to begin with.
The semicolon gets a bad rap. Either people despise it—saying that it is not needed in writing at all. (George Orwell was once quoted as saying “I had decided about this time that the semicolon is an unnecessary stop and that I would write my next book without one.”) OR….possibly even worse, people use it incorrectly over and over and over and over and over (you get the idea!). The worst misuse (in my humble opinion) is when people use it as a comma—joining two parts of a sentence, rather than two complete sentence. Just random semicolon insertion here and there—whenever they believe that one of the sentence parts is too lengthy to use a comma there. (Sigh…)
By Zac Kieser and Donna Reish
I’m bringing back the Punctuation Puzzle! Many readers said they enjoyed these puzzles….so I will be bringing you one each week. (I love them too!)
For your Character Ink Cottage Class kids and others with upper level students, do these with them! They will be so good for their grammar and usage skill development!
Here’s the Puzzle:
Are you ready for your quiz? Can you create compound sentences with the sentence pairs given below?
Use either of the following:
1. A semicolon (with a complete sentence on the left and a complete sentence on the right)
2. A comma-coordinating conjunction between two complete sentences (,for/,and/,nor/,but/,or/,yet/,so—FANBOYS)