Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Lost Art of Writing, Communication ShortFalls, and the Disappearance of the Semi-Colon

 Here is an actual email I received at work today. See the bolded line below. I am pretty sure this is not what the salesman meant to say. I wonder if he were hand writing this note if he would have made the same mistake?

From: [Name and Company Redacted]
Sent: Thursday, July 18, 2013 3:14 PM
To: Hutchins, Boyd M
Subject: Re: [Name Redacted] Email

Perfect. Thanks for your help with this. If I can help with anything do hesitate to call. 
[Name Redacted]
Regional Vice President
Mississippi  Region
[Company Name Redacted]
Cell - xxx-xxx-xxxx

On Jul 18, 2013, at 2:40 PM, "Hutchins, Boyd M"  wrote:
Okay – UPS should be picking up the loaner this afternoon.

Tracking number xx xxx xxx xx xxxx xxxx

Boyd M. Hutchins, CBET, BMET iii
Clinical Engineering

I started writing at least 1 handwritten note or letter per week. Sometimes I just hand deliver it to the recipient, other times I send them through the mail. I have yet to receive a hand written response to any of them. I have received some verbal "Thank Yous" the next time I meet them, but that's it. Actually, one lady I sent a note to actually lauded the fact that I took the time to hand write the note, the quality of my penmanship,  and that it is rare for anyone to hand write a note anymore. She was impressed! She communicated this to me via email, stating, she wished she had more time to hand write a note but thought email would be quicker.

I am saddened by the discontinuation of the semi colon in the English Language. This curious punctuation mark  was in its heyday a prominent addition to almost any descriptive paragraph; now one must click options, insert symbol, scroll through the other antiquated symbols on the list, click add, and then 'X' out of the options back to the screen on one's phone where one types their abbreviated text message. Fortunately the semicolon still holds a place on the computer keyboard, just below the colon on the key. I believe it is one of the least used keys on my computer because it is the cleanest. The semi-colon key is the anchor of proper typing technique. Index finger on the 'J'; middle on the 'K'; ring on the 'L'; pinky on the ';'. And this is still a testament to the semicolon's endurance as a grammatical device, but it in no way approaches the glory of its former days, as its use in a two page paragraph by Hugo or Dumas, or IN THE WORD OF GOD!

For those grammatical connoisseurs who still relish the use of this altruistic punctuation mark; I salute you! For those who have never used a semi-colon; or used it improperly; below is the definition of the semi-colon, what it is used for, and, perhaps for the first time for you, a semi-colon actually used in a sentence. Though I have used no less than 5 times already.

NOUN: the punctuation mark (;) used to indicate a major division in a sentence where a more distinct separation is felt between clauses or it
on a list than is indicated by a comma, as between the two clauses of a compound sentence.

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