Hi; I Use Semicolons Improperly;

I’d first like to credit this entire article to all of those who improperly use semicolons as a cheap ploy to pad their work (blog entries, research papers, etc) and who love to use GRE vocabulary words that they do not understand. A blog entry regarding this hotsy totsy topic is currently in the works.

The main source of this article can be found on theoatmeal.com.

So what’s the point of a semicolon? Well according to The Oatmeal and every other grammar source known to man, a semicolon is used to connect two independent clauses. So basically it is taking two ideas that could stand alone like, “My cat has a serious face. She finds little humor in my jokes.” With a semicolon, the sentence would look like this: “My cat has a serious face; she finds little humor in my jokes.” Never use a semicolon if an and, but, or, nor, for, so, or yet can be used.

When is a semicolon appropriate to use? According to The Oatmeal, use  a semicolon when forming a bond between two statements, typically when they are related to or contrast with one another. A semicolon can also be used as a “super-comma”, which basically means it can be used when making a list of items that are separated with a comma. For example, “My favorite places to shop include Banana Republic, a place where I can always find cute tops; Forever 21, a store that always adds a touch of funk to my wardrobe; and New York and Company, a great place to grab dress clothes for work.”

Finally, use a semicolon to connect sentences that contain internal punctuation, such as commas. For example, “When Bubby and Bobby are mad at each other, they’ll often resort to slapping; cats are all about the slap fights.” According to The Oatmeal, if a period would have been used in this sentence, the connection between the two clauses would have been lost.

So let’s review. When a strong desire to link two independent clauses arises, just add a semicolon. Just make sure the two ideas can stand alone. If making lists that contain commas is your thing, add semicolons. Finally, if your sentence contains two clauses that deserve a strong connection, but contain internal punctuation, add a semicolon! Just make sure to follow these rules, and I can assure that your writings will not be mocked. Maybe.

Newest Form of Social Media Promotes Exclusivity

How many times do we accept “friend” requests on Facebook and other social media networks out of politeness? We may not really “know” this person, but because we share at least five mutual friends, we feel somewhat obligated to accept. In the social networking world, even though we are protected by a computer screen, we still feel that we will offend someone by denying their request. However, a new social media program is taking a new approach to this annoyance.

Path, or “The Personal Network”, is a suite of applications that focuses on “intimate photo sharing”.  According to the article via Mashable.com, Path limits each user to only having 50 “friends” or connections. The reason?

“Because your personal network is limited to your 50 closest friends and family, you can always trust that you can post any moment, no matter how personal,” the company said in its announcement blog post. “Path is a place where you can be yourself.”

The decision to stick with a 50 connection limit was also sparked by Oxford professor of evolutionary psychology Robin Dunbar, who claims ” that 150 is the maximum number of social relationships any human can handle.”

So could this be the answer to finally breaking away from our quantity over quality online relationship building (or collecting, depending on how you look at it) problems? We can only hope so.

[For the entire Mashable article]

However, I do believe there is Facebook hope yet. Recently, I asked any willing responder if they would either accept or seek out a friend request to someone they had only met once. To my pleasant surprise, the ten people that responded all said the it depended on the following:

  • If the connection could lead them to opportunity
  • If they felt they would encounter this person multiple times in the future
  • If they were trying to motivate them to join or attend something

This reaffirmed my hope that we, the faithful social media generation, will slowly begin to migrate away from these plastic, online “relationships” and eventually move back to the real, face-to-face ones. Now if only we could get everyone to invest in those new Windows phones so we wouldn’t have to carry on conversations with the top of someone’s head. “Keep talking; I’m listening.”