India Uncut

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Monday, September 19, 2005

The war against nuance

In a superb piece by Trevor Butterworth, Louis Menand is quoted as saying:
There’s an animus against the semicolon because it adds nuance. It makes the reader think that the relationship between two independent clauses is more complex.
Read the full piece, about the semicolon.

My personal take: it's a powerful tool for writers who know how to use it, but it makes language clumsy in the hands of an amateur. I was given to overusing it during a phase when I read a lot of Milan Kundera, but there's nothing a little Hemingway won't cure. I use it sparingly now, at times when I feel that nothing else will do. That happens sometimes.

(Link via email from Rahul.)
amit varma, 12:59 PM| write to me | permalink | homepage

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