Sexy Semi-Colon Song

A while ago, I posted an email I received from a colleague about sexing up grammar so that people will use it more. I called it “Grammar is a Hussy.”

Since then we have even gotten into interrobanging. Can you imagine?!

Well, these cool kids seem to love them some semi-colons; I think that’s fantastic.

What’s your favorite punctuation mark and why? Or, for the love of Pete, show me that you know how to use a semi-colon properly. Go on; impress me!

33 thoughts on “Sexy Semi-Colon Song

  1. I am a semi-colon girl; I think its because I write the way I talk; my lungs have to wait to take a breath until I’ve uttered at least three sentences!

    Great post and video! Can those kids rock the semi-colon or what!?

  2. Renee, have you ever heard of an earworm?! Well, consider yourself responsible for my latest one! Tonight, as I attempt to drift into peaceful slumber, that damn song is going to be in my head!

    My favorite punctuation mark is the exclamation point! I’m certain that I use it more frequently than any English professor would ever allow; I’m a very excited person. I’m not as excited as the two peeps in the video and I’m certainly not “hot” for the exclamation point, despite it’s phalic apperance.

    1. Speaking as an English teacher, I don’t mind a single exclamation point. It is the people who insist on telling me how excited they are!!!!!!!!!!!

      Okay, okay. I get it.

      After one exclamation point.

      Sorry to hear about your earworm.

      And that song is catchy, isn’t it? 😉

  3. My middle school students and I do semi-colon statues. Stand up. Your head is the dot. Lift your left leg off the ground, bend it at the knee, and curl it over your shin (I originally typed “shit”). That’s the bottom comma. Now stretch both your left and right arms straight out at your side; each arm is a full sentence.

    And that, my dear grammar hussy, is Grammar’s Tree Pose.

    And then we all fall over like dominoes…

    1. I am curious; do they get it?

      Did you see that. Did you see what I did there? 😉

      How I integrated the semi-colon into my response…

      Anyway, if that works, I’m totally stealing…I mean borrowing “Grammar’s Tree Pose.”

      And taking pictures.

  4. Semi colons should be eliminated. Why not merely use a compound sentence or a complex sentence? The only reason they have semi colons is because of this national conspiracy of freshman English teachers that are stingy with grades is to give a student a B or C on an otherwise well written paper for semicolon; incorrectness.

    1. Oh Carl, I was with you all the way to the end and then you had to insert the knife and twist.

      I do think the semi-colon has its place. Especially in very long lists that come after colons. We do need them there. But sometimes the semi-colon is just pressing on the breaks gently.

      Or slowing just enough to roll through a stop sign.

      Not that I would ever do something like that. 😉

  5. I like the * …you know… because I’m a star… No, seriously the * probably isn’t really considered a punctuation mark… is it? I actually think my favorite punctuation mark is this… I use it all the time… you know… the three periods… in… a… row… I don’t really know why… or what it’s purpose is… it’s kind of like… you know… a pause… in the sentence… what’s it called? An ellipse?!?!?

  6. This song is amazing. I use semi-colons all the time, but I’m not sure if I’m always using them properly. I went to a hippie college, so I take all kinds of liberties with the English language, and then I go hug a tree and make a friendship bracelet for a flower and everything is okay.

      1. Omigosh! That video is fabulous!

        “Oooh! Ooooh! Tree! Hug! Hugging the tree!”

        Why don’t we all do that?

        Every day?

        Talk about showing love and respect for all of creation.

        And Deb, please note, there are lots of exclamation points in there for you!

    1. Jules! Check out Leanne’s lesson for middle schoolers above.

      Her “Grammar Tree Pose” exercise shows how folks are supposed to use a semi-colon properly.

      Think of it as linking two closely related sentences.

      You don’t want the long, hard stop of a period. You want a rolling stop. Like a speed bump or something. Just enough to slow you down a bit.


      Simple as that.

  7. Unlike Ironic Mom, I was unable to give up ellipses for Lent.

    I love them. Use them with joyful abandon. In places I can and spots I probably shouldn’t…

    Oooh, and commas. I love me some commas…

    1. My mother goes crazy with the ellipses.

      But then she also writes in opposite cap lock.



      Drives me bonkers.

      Plus I always feel like I’m being yelled at. 😉

  8. When I saw “sexy” and “colon” in the title I thought this post was going to go in a completely different direction. But all humor aside, I do enjoy a good semi-colon, but my own grammatical fetish has got to be the “em” dash. It’s too bad that on browser-based applications I have to settle for measly hyphen flanked by single spaces; just doesn’t do the narrative moment justice. But that’s life, I guess. Maybe the “em” dash will be WordPress’s next…great…feature.

    But what about the regular colon, sans semi? Can you have two colons in the same sentence? I used to think that would be the equivalent of mixing Coke with Pepsi, or crossing the streams of your Ghostbuster proton pack; you just don’t do it. But then I saw David Foster Wallace use multiple colons in the same sentences, and although it looked strange at first I had to admit he colon-ized to great effect.

    1. Mark:

      So weird that you just mentioned putting TWO colons in one sentence because I did that today (albeit accidentally), and I thought: Are people even allowed to do that? I’ve never seen it done, but now I’ll have to check out how Wallace manages to pull it off.

      I’ll like to feel like I could colon-ize, if necessary.

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