Monday, February 28, 2011

An Unconscionable Abuse of the Semicolon

I am a terrible, slow, inaccurate typist, and this passage, composed of only TWO sentences, made me want to die as I was taking notes for my dissertation yesterday.
“To start with some definitions, by ‘avant-garde’ I am referring to historical waves of artists in the twentieth century associated with innovative formal practices and their legacy. Manifestations of avant-garde practice generally are regarded as formal and sociopolitical, and typically involve groups of artists with shared principles who often work in more than one medium or genre; synthesize disparate influences and techniques including ‘high’ and ‘popular’ culture, deliberately attempt to undermine or contradict formal markers of rigidified artistic structures and ruling ideologies; consider art to be apolitical and aesthetic instrument with direct agency; push art and society forward into new and unfamiliar terrain; employ technical features designed to unsettle and interrogate unitary voices of authority and totalizing narratives; explore formal modes such as open field, performative, and alternative poetics based on extra-semantic properties such as visualization and sound; question the nature and possibility of a nonproblematical speaking subject; animate multiple voices in preference to a centralized stable narrator or persona; transcend boundaries of nationalism, draw on international influences, and maintain dialogue with artist sin other nations and cultures; and frequently use collage, bricolage, fragmentation, and pastiche in order to create palimpsestic or dialogic texts revealing multiple frames of reference and mechanism of interpretation.”
from “Diaspora and the Avant-Garde in Contemporary Black British Poetry” by Lauri Ramey in Noland and Watten's Diasporic Avant-Gardes.

It's not a bad definition of the avant-garde, though. All-encompassing, to say the least.

Better ways to use semicolons:

  • Semicolon Brooch
    $8.50 USD

  • Semicolon Letter Press Necklace
    $29.00 USD


    TheForestFaery said...

    Wow... talk about long, run-on sentences! ;D

    I love the Etsy semicolons. :)

    HarmlessColor said...

    I love the semicolons, and I think you would love kimchi ;-)

    J.Crabbit said...

    HAHA I like your semicolon use; much better; while in text they are useful; the items made from the shape itself; are my favorite. ;) ;)dont forget the importance it has in creating the wink smiley.

    Rachel B. said...

    Found you on the etsy blogs team . . . DANG, I felt bad for the poor over-used semi-colon in that passage! Or maybe it feels proud of itself for being so popular? I just know I liked your etsy finds better :-)

    XoXo, Vicki said...

    Punctuation as fashion? Just darling!



    Tina S said...

    @J.Crabbit -- good point! I do love the winking emoticon.

    @Rachel -- Good question! Probably that was the most the poor neglected thing had been used in quite a while.

    Sarah said...

    Oh, I am a giant punctuation nerd. I insist that it's used correctly and I love your fun take on such a dull (to most people) subject! Giant academic sentences lightened up with Etsy finds. Love this post! (And found you via EBT, too!)


    The Craft-Arty Kid said...

    Haha good post. Love the Etsy semi-colons

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