double semi colons

Discussion in 'General Writing Discussion' started by springs, Feb 29, 2012.

  1.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    Okay, I know I'm obsessed with them. But i read a sentence in GRRM which had a double semicolon in a sentence, divided by 5 words, and it's really annoyed me. think of the count I could have if I'm allowed to do such things. ;)

    I can't find the exact sentence, but is there any occasion when this is technically okay?

    (BTW, it read very wrong to me.)
  2.  
    11thCommandment

    11thCommandment Christopher

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    i'm not a grammarian, but I think you probably could. man proposes:god disposes: satan encloses?
  3.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    If it reads wrong to you then I'd probably avoid using them, but in some situations it could work - if used correctly.


    EDIT: Welcome to the SFF Crons, 11Comandment.


    Quick google search and pulled this off a post where somebody asked the same question:

  4.  
    11thCommandment

    11thCommandment Christopher

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    Cheers Wiz. Good to be here!
  5.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    another eg of what you can get away with when you've made it? (although this was in game of thrones.)
  6.  
    11thCommandment

    11thCommandment Christopher

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    well, springs, do you know what always looks wrong to me, my marmite loving friend? the word 'that'

    just kidding. you know i loves ya ;)
  7.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    We all have our little things we hate. For me it is 'then', I detest 'then' used in a sentence.

    That happened, and then this happened... *shudder*


    of course there are situations where you just have to use the word.
  8.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    I have truly truly killed my that habit, and now pick it up in every else I read. :)

    (Don't give WP ideas; he's hoping to keep me busy on my edit... ;)) - and will no doubt....

    @WP. Oh dear. :eek: That's all I'm saying; enjoy the redpenning.
  9.  
    11thCommandment

    11thCommandment Christopher

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    just noticed you said 'semicolon' not 'colon'. i really do need to get new glasses :(
  10.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    Don't worry Springs, I'm far more forgiving of it in other people's work, its just a personal taste thing.
  11.  
    Abernovo

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

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    Ah, I was going to say I use multiple semi-colons to list things, but not for anything else. A sentence would get too clumsy, at least to my mind.
  12.  
    11thCommandment

    11thCommandment Christopher

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    then or suddenly. suddenly, there was a crash, then suddenly, a boom...

    i hear you WP
  13.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    Yes! You know what happens when I read suddenly? I pause for effect. Why am I pausing when its a 'sudden act'? Shouldn't I be reading quicker, not pausing? But that is the effect 'suddenly' has on me.
  14.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    I think that's grammatically correct, Aber,

    I have a lot of things I like in a book: good plot; good charaters; no that's; and lots of semi colons. But this wasn't a list it was prose.
  15.  
    11thCommandment

    11thCommandment Christopher

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    think it's one of those blind spot things we get whilst writing. once we read it, it becomes glaringly apparent. too many 'thats' ruin the flow
  16.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    *wanders away to check if he has "that's" in his writing*
  17.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    The curse of the Chrons; the inability to read a book afterwards without wanting to stamp on it and say that's just not blinking right! Or left.

    @WP; I so should have this conversation before sending WIP....
  18.  
    Abernovo

    Abernovo Accident-prone, allegedly

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    Okay. Only two semi-colons? If the clauses were short, I suppose it might be acceptable. I don't think I'd find it comfortable to read, though.

    Thanks, springs, I was considering reading GRRM. Now I'm wondering if I'll get annoyed with his writing style.
  19.  
    Warren_Paul

    Warren_Paul Banishment this world!

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    I wouldn't worry Aber, there might be some lines you don't agree with, but overall GRRM appears to break the rules to perfection - just not how we thought it should be done. I think we are just struggling understand why its okay in those situations.
  20.  
    springs

    springs Juggling life

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    Hmm, I'm not sure I'd endorse him just as highly. I think he has some really good bits; the intro of Jon snow is excellent, and he has Tyrion very well. But, it's still formulaic (but that's a criticism I find with a lot of fantasy), and padded. I kept reading, WP, but feast for crows is padding to the nth degree IMHO. I will get DWD, cos it seems to get better feedback, but I'm getting to the stage that, quite frankly, a jon snow and tyrion compilation would do me very nicely, and I'd skip the rest...

    His writing is very good in places, he does show not tell very well, but he does repeat things he's already told you too often, and how many times do so many characters pound tables with fists when there's painful medical interventions? So far, i think every time.

    Was he worth reading? Absolutely, especially to see how some areas of writing are done. Is he anywhere near as good as he's made out to be? Not in my opinion, but that's what makes the world so sweet.... we can't all like the same thing.
    Oh, and I don't think he breaks the rules as well as some writers, Joyce and Burgess spring to mind, I think, whisper it, sometimes it's just not right....

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