Semicolon I came up with a damn funny double pun this afternoon:

“‘I’m sorry sir, but the cancer has spread to your intestine; we’ll have to remove at least half of it,’ said the doctor semicolonically.”

I wondered if anyone else had thought of using such a word in such a way, so I did a quick Google search on “semicolonically.” And what do you know, it was one of those rare words that only generates a single hit. It happened to be on David Egger’s magazine McSweeney’s of all places. Of course, the word wasn’t used nearly as cleverly as I had used it.

The single generated Google search result as of 10/30/2002 is cached here. The uncached result at McSweeney’s is here.

Actually, I’m really not that clever after all: - and I suppose it might not be all that funny to some poeople…

Incidentally, the semicolon has been under a certain amount of examination lately, see: Semicolon Politics. Some find it “pretentious and overactive,” see: Paul Robinson’s The Philosophy of Punctuation. Other’s find it beautiful: In “The Survival of the Fittest,” collected in The Best American Essays 1994, Nicholson Baker calls it “that supremely self-possessed valet of phraseology” but notes that it is “even now subject to episodes of neglect and derision.”

» Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2002 | Permanent Link