Re: Avoid the Semicolon in Tech Writing?

Subject: Re: Avoid the Semicolon in Tech Writing?
From: Emily Berk <emily -at- armadillosoft -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sun, 17 Aug 2003 23:59:07 -0700

This reminds me of a time when I was working to QA a brand-new Unix-based, multiprocessor computer along with its bundled compilers, operating system and other tools.

I was sitting in the office of one of the muckety-mucks when my eyes came upon a marked-up page of the Pascal manual (which I had not seen before). And I noticed that all the semi-colons on the page, including many in code examples, were marked for removal. Although I was embarrassed to admit that I'd been reading copy not meant for my eyes (yet), I did point out that deleting the all the semi-colons from code might not be such a good idea.

Well, it turned out that the editing had already been completed and not one line of Pascal that had contained a semi-colon still had one. And no backup of the 350+ page manual had been kept. Guess it was good they'd kept the hard copy.

My point is just that -- there are definitely places in which semi-colons CANNOT and should not be avoided.

--Emily, who is catching up on old, digested emails

On Saturday, 16 Aug 2003 08:09:37 -0700 (PDT), Janet Vega <anutha_writer -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
>... I recently read a Style Guide from another company with which I was previously unfamiliar. In it, it stated that the semicolon is to be avoided in technical communication since one can almost always make two shorter sentences using a period.

~ Emily Berk ~
~\091101 *** Armadillo Associates, Inc. ~

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