Wilt or Combust

Pep Talks, Warnings & Screeds by George Singleton, with illustrations by Daniel Wallace

If you know how to use a semicolon, then you may use it sparingly. Too many semicolons on the page—even used correctly—make the reader think, Oh, look how smart this writer things he is, using semicolons all over the place. It will appear as though you have a special semicolon shaker and have sprinkled the page.

In the real world, anything that gets doused in such a way has two options: It either wilts and dies, or it bursts into flames.

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