I was taught in CR school that at the end of a question where they just say correct, that it should be a comma, correct? The owner of the company wants a semi-colon. I use a semi-colon for ;is that correct but I don't like it for ;correct. What say you?

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You mean like after every "yes" or "no"??????
Judy, I know this court reporter, a lady I really admire, who has a master's degree. She travels to Europe frequently. Se goes to all the plays, broadway shoes, museums, et cetera. I don't know how she finds time to read books, but she's an avid reader. She is very well versed on many topics. I often ask her about words, if she's ever heard of this word or that word, and she always seems to know the answer.

Her transcripts are riddled with semicolons.

SPEAKER: Okay; yes.
SPEAKER: Yes; right.
SPEAKER: Oh; okay.
SPEAKER: We went to the store; bought some apples; bought some pears; and went home.

Those are a few examles, but I can guarantee you that in a wall-to-wall colloquy, like an FDA meeting, she will have over 15 semicolons on every single page.

We have shared jobs previously, and I would never dare to challenge her semicolon usage. When it is one of "my" jobs, though, if she is helping with transcription of client-provided audio, I just do a global search for her semicolons and delete about 95 percent of them.

I love this lady, and she's a good friend of mine, but her semicolon usage is awful.
Who wants to take the time to read a grammar book.

Semicolon - use when you have a sentence with a lot in it, and you already are using commas, and you need to separate one string of text from another, but the commas are not strong enough.

Example: Yes, we always go to the beach on Sundays, especially on the long, hot, dry days of summer in Bermuda; however, Johnny is in college now and he really isn't interested.

Keep it simple. Really, we shouldn't have any questions about punctuation. We should know automatically when to use a question mark, when to use a period and when to use a comma. If we think something really needs a semicolon, check the sentence for commas.

If a sentence doesn't have a comma, then it surely doesn't need a semicolon.
Well, little off track here, but what do all of you do when a deponent makes a noise that's clearly meant to represent the sound of (as in this case) the torquing of a drill? The only way I can describe it is KHZZHKZ...in other words, I can't! How about using "(utterance)" when it occurs?
Oh, and there were other sounds made to represent other things as well.
Actually, not to beat a dead horse, but it really isn't an utterance, is it? Any suggestions would be helpful! :)
I write SO*UND and it translates to (descriptive sound).
Brenda, I LOVE that suggestion! I'm sure you've seen the suggestion of using "onomatopoeia" but why use a word half the room doesn't even know? Keep it simple. Love it, Brenda!

M.A.
Thanks, Mary Ann. I saw the suggestion on a forum somewhere along the line and adopted/adapted it. I agree that onomatopoeia (which I have to look up every time to spell -- thanks for that!) is just too much!
Hopefully, we ALL want to take the time to read grammar and other books to keep our education up to date. :-)
Great topic. I've gone back and damned forth on this issue over the years.

I'm having the same problem with Morson's that I've had before. Namely, WTH? No disrespect intended. But is she saying basically a comma is preferred, but a semicolon is okay and may become the rule?
Actually, Lisa, I think she's saying the other way around, that the comma may soon become a rule and not a style. Which is not what I learned at all. I learned it as the rule and the semicolon before a single word like that was wrong.

"Some well-respected writers use a comma to separate the one-word questions . . . ; so that may soon
become a rule, not just a style . . . "


I don't stress or go back and damned forth. I just stick with the comma. It's clear. That's my first yardstick.

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