True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: Semicolons Suck
__ Ariz. Att'y __ (forthcoming Feb. 2021)
6 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2020 Last revised: 20 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 9, 2020
This article analyzes the semicolon from a legal writing professor’s perspective and suggests that we eliminate semicolons because educators today are less concerned with sentence-level mechanics and proper punctuation, and law students already face a steep learning curve on so many other, more fundamental levels. It also traces the history of the semicolon and suggests, as have other commentators, that it is a pretentious mark that can be replaced with periods, em-dashes, and other devices.
Keywords: Legal writing, semicolon, sentence-level mechanics, legal education
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