Sunday, March 4, 2012

Grammar Day: The Semicolon

English: semicolon in red & blue
Image via Wikipedia
He started the tale of Old Elmer, the bird,
Monique and Bologna, two horses from Spain,
A doctor, Vlad Halfshod the Great and Absurd,
Newt Gingrich, a nun with three eyes, and Mark Twain.

The story was long, and he wanted to share,
But he stopped and was silent, his face muscles tense.
I asked what was wrong. He replied with a glare,
"This rambling story just doesn't make sense!"

I spotted the problem; I knew what to do:
I pulled out a bag from my coat and I said,
"I have just the tool that can see this thing through!"
 He peered in the bag, started shaking his head.

He poured the bag's contents out onto the table.
"What is this?!" he exclaimed, "It can help me? But how?"
"These old semicolons," I said, "Will be able
To fix your poor story." And then I showed how.

He listened intently; he did not demur
As I taught how to use them, taught how and taught when.
And when he felt confident, strong, and secure,
He took up my old punctuation, and then

He told the whole tale of Old Elmer, the bird;
Monique and Bologna, two horses from Spain;
A doctor; Vlad Halfshod the Great and Absurd;
Newt Gingrich; a nun with three eyes; and Mark Twain.
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