Sunday, April 06, 2008

Transvestite Hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing.

Don't care much for Vonnegut's novels, but I love his short stories. Here's an excerpt from a 2003 speech an UW-Madison.

I realize that some of you may have come in hopes of hearing tips on how to become a professional writer. I say to you, ''If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don’t have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.''


Blogger -suitepotato- said...

I read Breakfast of Champions in high school and was mildly amused at the time as I recall. Yes, by my choice, go figure. I read in between The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and The Restaurant at the End of the Universe largely because that last book wasn't returned to the reading room yet.

However, semicolons should definitely be used for period pieces in 19th through early 20th century England and other such settings where they would have been. When I don't see them in math text whose original publishing was in the mid 19th century, I know the reprint was more than a little bit edited.

April 07, 2008 2:33 PM  

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