A semicolon provides a pause in a sentence that is longer than a comma but shorter than a full stop.
There are a number of ways in which one can use a semicolon to good effect; they are very versatile little punctuation marks.
A semicolon can be used to extend a sentence using two closely related ideas without using a conjunction. Therefore, a semicolon works differently than a colon does: they are not interchangeable. Examples:
A semicolon is a much misunderstood piece of punctuation; while many people avoided them, those who use them achieve greater eloquence and refinement in their writing.
You may have as many donuts as you like; however, the lemon meringue pie is all gone.
A semicolon can also be used to create a complex list in which each entry is accompanied by additional information before the list continues. Examples:
When editing, I have to remember many things: my punctuation, because that tells people how to read my work; my spelling, because words are often confusing; my paragraphs, because they enable me to organise my ideas; and my word choices, because some words are really similar!
The guests came from Melbourne, Australia; Paris, France; Montreal, Canada; and various other places.
I wrote yesterday about waiting to receive a CT guided epidural spinal injection to treat the constant lower lumbar and sciatic pain I have been suffering due to further degeneration of the disks on my spine.
I am sincerely touched and thankful for every message of support and encouragement that I have received since publishing that post.
In the light of the fact that there are some good medical sites available but relatively few “this is what it was like for me” posts to be found, this post is intended to address that imbalance.
When I got to the treatment room, I was provided a hospital gown and asked to change. I was able to leave my underwear on, so I wasn’t completely exposed.
I was then invited to lie face down/on my stomach on the Ct scanner table. The nurse and radiologist helped me to get as comfortable as I could, reminding me that I wouldn’t be able to move during the scans and injections.
Once I was settled, they did some test scans to give the doctor initial images to work with.
When the doctor came in and introductions were done, he proceeded to wash my lower back with iodine and prepare the injection site.
That was all completely fine until we got to the initial local anaesthetics. Knowing I couldn’t move, I gritted my teeth and made some indiscriminate grungy noises that communicated more than “ouch”.
Then came the insertion, at a precise location in my lower back, of the needle and cannula for the delivery of the rest of the injections.
“Just a scratch now,” said the doctor.
In response, I laid very still but made more ugly noises.
“How is that?” he asked me.
Showing significant restraint, I responded with “I’m not sure what scratches you, but it’s very different than anything that usually scratches me.”
He didn’t say anything, but the nurse and radiologist laughed at that, which I found rather satisfying: I may be lying prone and vulnerable while a very clever person with a tendency toward understatement sticks sharp, pointy things into my spine, but I’m still hilarious.
The radiologist scanned my back again to make sure the needle and cannula were in the right place, and the doctor proceeded to administer the prescribed anaesthetic and steroids.
In the course of the procedure, counting anaesthetics and steroids, the doctor made multiple injections . It wasn’t unbearable but it definitely wasn’t painless. I wouldn’t have wanted it to happen without the local anaesthetics, but I could still feel the injections.
After the procedure, I had to lie down with my upper body elevated for about 90 minutes before being declared able to go home.
The advice given to me before being allowed to leave was as follows:
Do not lie flat for 12 hours as nobody wants the anaesthetic heading north instead of south, which could cause significant complications.
When the local anaesthetics wear off, I would probably not feel both my original pain and some pain around the injection site. .
The injection usually takes 2-3 days to start taking effect. Full effect is generally reached after 10 days to 2weeks.
Rest for a couple of days to give things the best chance of healing.
The injection deals with the symptoms, not the actual degeneration in my back. I will still have the same limitations as before, but hopefully with a lot less pain.
I came home feeling quite tender and a bit jelly-legs, which I am told is normal.
I spent the afternoon and evening in my recliner with my feet up, changing the angle of the chair every now and then. I made sure I drank plenty of water, and that I got up regularly for necessary short walks.
I have experienced an increase in my fibromyalgia pain — which is a different kind of pain altogether from my back and sciatic pain, so it is easily distinguishable. Such pain flares are totally standard whenever my body experience stress or trauma. It’s fair to say that’s not helpful in the sleep department m, either.
Twelve hours later, the injection site is fairly painful , so lying on my back and trying to sleep isn’t much of an option right now. Some bruising is coming out, but I haven’t had any bleeding from the injection site. There is no significant swelling, redness or heat in the area, so I am assuming this is just par for the course and not anything I need to follow up.
It was a great relief to get into bed and lie down, albeit with an extra pillow, but even with my usual pain medication, sleep seems unlikely at this point. Not only am I a rubbish sleeper at the best of times, I have to lie on my back to sleep — I can’t ever sleep on my side or stomach because it’s just too uncomfortable for my back. So, 2.43am seemed like an opportune time to write an update post.
I am really hoping that I do see some improvement over the next couple of days, and that some consistent relief from pain is imminent,
A friend asked me recently how to write a book review that goes beyond whether or not they liked and enjoyed the book.
Having posted some time ago about things to avoid when writing a book review, I thought it high time I wrote something more positive and helpful in the interests of helping people review books more confidently.
A good book review doesn’t have to be long or academic.
Using everyday language is absolutely fine. You don’t have to write like a professional reviewer or an English teacher to write a meaningful or helpful review.
Some websites where readers post book reviews require a minimum length, which gives you room to say whether you enjoyed the book and why. One or two sentences will do the trick. There is no obligation to write any more than that if you don’t wan to.
If you do want to write more, try these ideas:
Why did you like or dislike the story? Remember that others may like what you disliked, and vice versa, so always try to be kind. Feel free to say a book wasn’t to your taste – and try to identify why – but avoid comments like “this sucked” or “I hated it”. They are not helpful. Similarly, “Best. Book. Ever!” is of limited use if you don’t say why.
What important ideas did the story make you think about? Themes such as love, anger, justice, revenge, pain, fear, overcoming… anything that is relevant to you or to a lot of people are helpful points for comment.
Were the characters likeable? Where they relatable? Why or why not? Was there something we could learn from them?
Did the writer’s style impress you in any particular way? Were there images or word pictures that you liked? Did it make you laugh, or imagine vividly, or feel genuine emotions of one sort or another?
Was it easy to read and understand, or did you have to really work at it?
What other kinds of people might appreciate the book? Think about interests, age group, and genres or categories here.
Remember that every book is unique, so some things will be more
Writing about ideas like these will help you to write a review that is interesting in itself, and will encourage the right readers to choose that particular book. In that way, you’ll help both the author and prospective readers at the same time.
This will also help you to avoid retelling or summarising the story and giving spoilers that might put prospective readers off or make them feel as if they no longer need to read the story to find out what happens.
Elections in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and Canada are more straightforward than those conducted in the USA. Here, the winner of the popular vote in each electorate wins the seat. The leader of the winning party becomes the Prime Minister.
American elections, on the other hand, are more complex and remain somewhat baffling to many of us.
I found this page to be full of clear, concise explanations for all those who, like me, are still wondering exactly how American elections work.
This post might come across as some kind of linguistic snobbery, and while that’s not my motivation, it is a risk I am willing to take.
The common mispronunciation of nuclear is something that drives me absolutely nuts.
So many people pronounce it as nucular ( nyoo-kyoo-lar) but that is not how it is spelt or pronounced. I’ve even heard scientists on the radio and TV who say it that way, despite the fact that scientists of all people should know better. Did they get through however many of years study at university calling the central body of a cell the nuculus? I think not.
Nuclear is a three syllable word, pronounced nyoo-klee-ar.
If someone can say the words ‘new’ and ‘clear’ correctly, they should be able to manage ‘nuclear’ by just mashing those two words together. Think of it as linguistic nuclear fusion.
Thursday is my least favourite day of the week, because I have a 3 hour class followed by 3 hours of work (I am a teacher’s assistant for a class I took a few years ago). I am my most awake and happy in the morning, but on Thursdays I have to relax during the morning and try to sleep in (I never end up doing this) and do some self-care so that I’m not totally drained by the time I have to head to school.
Every Thursday morning I wake up with dread because I am genuinely afraid I will end up having paralyzing anxiety, or start a depressive episode, or just plain get so tired I cop out of class and work. In the past, I did – often. When I was still using (I am a recovering addict, if you haven’t read my blog…
I’m just going to say it: I’m comfortable with the label of nerd.
More specifically, I’m a Nerdius scientifica.
Being a nerd is more accepted nowadays, what with our bulging brains and chiselled knowledge. And the reality is that us nerds have a lot to offer, like research skills.
Writing requires a lot of research and writers generally fall into two categories in this regard: those who need to learn how to research, and those who took up writing to justify those dodgy topics they’ve researched. This post will hopefully help the former. But if anyone does want to know how much slack rope you need to hang someone correctly from your homemade gallows, I have a spreadsheet calculator for you.
I stole am reblogging a post from Writer’s Digest with a few of my own comments.
Ernest Hemingway said writers should develop a built-in bullshit detector. I imagine one…
With all the attention given among the Indie community to the removal of book reviews by Amazon, I’m amazed at the number of authors who still post dirty links to their books on social media. This is a rookie-level mistake that can actually do more harm than good.
A dirty link helps the algorithm at Amazon to determine if there are connections between author and reader that might suggest collusion or partiality.. Even if a review is from a verified purchase, a simple connection via a shared link can be enough to make them suspect that it’s not unbiased or from an unrelated party.
If the link used by multiple customers can be traced directly back to the author, that’s one of the reasons they will start flagging and eventually removing reviews.
The simple solution is to ensure your links are clean before you post them.
A dirty link occurs when one copies and pastes a URL without removing all the extra information that gets tacked onto it by searching for a product, copying links from a website, linking from another product, or using a bookmark created from a searched item.For example, if I search for one of my books on Google and click on the Amazon link, I get this as the URL:
This is more information than is needed to actually find my book. In the image below, I’ve denoted the “dirty” part of the link by making it red.
The highlighted part of this link is the “dirty” part. If I were to give this link to someone else to use, it tells Amazon how they got the link. All you need to post is the part of the link that directly goes to your book page. In the link above, that’s the part that is still black. Once the link identifies which display page your book has, no further information is necessary.
You can check the clean link you want to post by pasting it into a new browser window and seeing that it goes directly to your book product page. Even if you use a link shortening service like bit.ly or buff.ly, or a customised branded link, you must ensure that the links you provide are clean. Just because you and your audience don’t see the extra information on a shortened or customised link doesn’t mean it isn’t there.
That way, stores will have no reason to suspect you or your readers’ integrity, and your verified purchase reviews will remain proudly on your book page.
I stumbled across this article thanks to a friend sharing it earlier today.
The advice offered is helpful for new and old bloggers alike, especially given the dynamic world in which we live and blog. Things are changing all the time, so any constructive advice is a great thing!