Daniel Goldin is the proprietor of Boswell Book Company. For more of his paperback recommendations, please visit the Boswell book club recommendations page.
We once treated punctuation as an art, but much the way the prescriptives triumphed over the descriptives in dictionaries, the grammar police created absolute rules for semicolons, and in that way, made them almost as rare as the iterrobang. Watson, historian, philosopher of science, and faculty member of Bard College’s Language and Thinking program, argues for the mark’s comeback, referencing the work of great semicolon users such as Herman Melville, Raymond Chandler, and Rebecca Solnit, and showing how artistic license can lead to a more joyfully nuanced reading life.
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