True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: Semicolons Suck

__ Ariz. Att'y __ (forthcoming Feb. 2021)

Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 20-42

6 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2020 Last revised: 20 Nov 2020

See all articles by Diana Simon

Diana Simon

James E. Rogers College of Law, The University of Arizona

Date Written: October 9, 2020

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Simon, Diana, True Confessions of a Legal Writing Professor: Semicolons Suck (October 9, 2020). __ Ariz. Att'y __ (forthcoming Feb. 2021), Arizona Legal Studies Discussion Paper No. 20-42, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3708496

Diana Simon (Contact Author)

James E. Rogers College of Law, The University of Arizona ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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