House bile is an occasional feature explaining a) what to do, (2) what not to do and iii. why that convention you've been following is dumb. This time, we look at semicolons.
Kurt Vonnegut famously wrote:
Here is a lesson in creative writing. The first rule: do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites representing absolutely nothing. All they do is show you’ve been to college.
Here’s another lesson: Kurt Vonnegut was a de facto apologist for antisemitism whose patriarchal wisdom and puerile cartoons have distracted generations of nerdy only-child devotees from his (mostly innocuous, but unmistakable) misogyny.
Vonnegut also claimed to self-edit every sentence in real time: writing and rewriting until perfect, before moving onto the next. This is a terrible approach that will frustrate your development as a writer the same way his take on the semicolon might permit you to think that not learning how to do something might somehow make you better at it than everyone else. (And I’m a fan.)
Know that semicolons are for complex lists and the separation of independent, but related clauses, and Google examples of their application every time you’re tempted to use one – just to check! – like everyone else.