bq. Youre kidding, said Ann Keatings, an applied linguist, as she absorbed the news I had brought from the US, where I have lived for the past 12 years: Americans see the semicolon as punctuations axis of evil. Or at least many of them do. But I like semicolons, she protested, they allow a writer to go further.
I have thought about this. I use semicolons and colons, but I must admit I don’t like semicolons in email. I can think of two or three people who use them, and it has a sort of effete effect.
The FT article, by Trevor Butterworth, is very interesting. But as Derek points out, their survey is ambiguous:
Are you for or against the semicolon? Answer: Yes / No
My answer is yes and no, or, as the Germans say, jein.