The Semi-colon and is it dead?

No this isn’t a topic that will end up in a Phythonesque dead parrot sketch. But over my morning black americano I was reading The Independent when I stumbled upon an article about punctuation, and a complaint from our French cousins that:

"English writing style has killed the semi-colon; it’s too direct, they say. "

anyway it was quite an interesting topic (for a Friday) so I thought I would share it with you below.

Punctuation: does it matter? - This Britain, UK - The Independent

On the web site, one of my goals is to get good and consistent use of punctuation, grammar and spelling so the site is as professional and easy to understand as possible.  I don't always get it right as I am not an English language expert.  Recently I have been trying to find out the correct use of the colon and if you should have a capital following it. Some sites suggest in British English that it should always have a capital, and in others that it depends.  So my decision for now is get a level of consistency and try and get the capital correct.

Whilst on the subject of language, check out the Microsoft Language Portal

" designed to enable individuals and communities around the world to interact with each other and with Microsoft’s language specialists on matters related to computer terminology. "

The site is really useful if you are looking for computer wording translations as well as providing (ripped form the blog posting below):

  • A search tool that allows you to search for English terms and shipped software strings in more than 90 languages
  • More than 30 style guides are available on the site for you to download for free
  • A feedback tool for you to use to give us your feedback on any term used in any of our products and technologies
  • Information on our terminology processes
  • Information on upcoming events and interesting terms

Well worth a visit if you have to do any type of translation or localisation work.

The Microsoft Language Portal team have a blog as well over at

Thanks to Mina, my French Canadian counterpart who sent me the information.


Technorati Tags: Semi Colon, Localisation, Microsoft Language Portal