ENG28: Summary Paragraph Example

ENG28: What follows is an example of an article summary. The full article can be found at  http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/18/nyregion/18semicolon.html?scp=1&sq=semicolon%20in%20unlikely%20places&st=cse.

A Summary of a Semicolon Sighting

     Sam Roberts begins the New York Times article “Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location” with the sighting of a semicolon used on a city transit placard. He then explains that the semicolon is a rarely employed, and when it is, it is often used incorrectly. He buttresses his claim with quotes from author Lynn Truss, linguist Geoffrey Nunberg, and even intellectual Noam Chomsky. Roberts also provides evidence of how semicolon misuse has resulted in loss of money and stature. Finally, Roberts notes how the semicolon might just live on through the use of emoticons. 😉   

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One response to “ENG28: Summary Paragraph Example

  1. Amanda

    What a sportive topic to write a New York Times article about. Most readers probably overlook the article, because the title “Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location” would seem to be an article read that only an English Professor or linguist would appreciate. However after reading the article, I was surprised at just how intriguing the English language can actually be. For me, the most interesting part of the article was when I discovered that our government can strike down laws over grammar and punctuation errors, if they run out of other reasons to challenge agendas they don’t want to pass into law.

    I agree with the Sam Roberts when he wrote that “whatever one’s personal feelings about semicolons, some people don’t use them because they never learned how.’ For this same reason I avoid using semicolons. I’m nervous that I will use the semicolon incorrectly and become embarrassed; so I choose the alternative and avoid using them altogether. ( I totally threw that last semicolon in there; after reading the article I want to attempt to use more semicolons in my writing. Hopefully I am at least in the ballpark when doing so.)

    My favorite part of the article and something Roberts was able to personally help me with was when he so eloquently defined what a semicolon actually is, a “distinct division between statements that are closely related but require a separation more prolonged than a conjunction and more emphatic than a comma.” This was the most concise definition of a semicolon that I have heard to date.

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