Semicolons can strengthen your writing by removing a word and tightening the connection between the ideas on both sides.

For whatever reason, some people have the strange notion that semicolons are for “show-offs,” that they reflect an arrogance. Where that comes from, I don’t know. Just because some people know how to use it and some don’t should not be held against the users.

Semicolons help to bridge ideas without using a conjunction. “I am glad she was hired; she was the best candidate,” shows the close relationship between the ideas on both sides of the semicolon, and it saves using the word “because.” The rhythm of the sentence is more snappy.

“We need to work on it tomorrow; we can’t waste any more time” is another example. You should resist the urge to break it into separate sentences because that will create choppy text Too often, people get carried away with the “short, declarative sentence” mantra, and they end up writing prose that sounds more like a children’s Dick and Jane book. children.

A series of consecutive short sentences also will make the reader work. She can tell that the information in some of the sentences is part of the same thought and should be in one sentence, so she naturally goes backwards and makes the connection that should have been conveyed with a semicolon.

Just remember that semicolons almost always divide independent clauses (complete thoughts).