Punctuation

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PUNCTUATION, construction. The act or method of placing points (q.v.) in a written or printed instrument.
     2. By the word point is here understood all the points in grammar, as the comma, the semicolon, the colon, and the like.
     3. All such instruments are to be construed without any regard to the punctuation; and in a case of doubt, they ought to be construed in such a manner that they may have some effect, rather than in one in which they would be nugatory. Vide Toull. liv. 3, t. 2, c. 5, n. 430; 4 T. R. 65; Barringt. on the Stat. 394, n. Vide article Points.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Great writers, Watson says, break the rules that would dole out semicolons as if they were "a controlled substance." Her message is that punctuation is not about limits; it's about making language richer.
Each entry includes a picture of the person's semicolon tattoo, as well a glimpse into the survivor's life.
These examples of run-on sentences could have been corrected by using the semicolon instead of the comma.
Chapters, paragraphs and sentences of varying sizes and relative lengths, as well as punctuation marks such as the comma, semicolon, en dash, colon, question mark, and full stop are some of the standardised means novelists use to manage their sentences on the surface of the page in creating the narrative impact they sought.
Now notice what happens if you replace that semicolon and conjunctive phrasing at the end of "a" in the Business Auto form with a simple period.
I just used a semicolon in an email like some sort of Harvard graduate.
(3) Commas, semicolons, colons, and full stops represented a series of pauses, of relatively increasing duration, such that the comma asks for a smaller pause than the semicolon, which asks for a smaller pause than the colon, and so on.
Painted People owner Louise Hewitt said the semicolon scheme started about six weeks ago.
10 chapters are: spelling is for weirdos; that witch!; the problem of Heesh; between you and me; comma comma comma comma, chameleon; who put the hyphen in Moby-Dick?; a dash, a semicolon, and a colon walk into a bar; whatAEs up with the apostrophe?; f*ck this sh*t; ballad of a pencil junkie.
We learn that Charles Dickens punctuated by ear, that the semicolon is an "upper-crust" punctuation mark best avoided and that the apostrophe will most definitely need our prayers if it is to survive.