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The semicolon, the comma's less successful, uglier brother.

The semicolon or semi-colon or sharingan (;) is a punctuation mark that is used to construct the winking emoticon. Although a semicircle is half of a circle and a seminar is half of a nar, a semicolon is not half of a colon. Rather, it is a mutant creature that is part comma, part period, and entirely useless. Except that if you don't put this ugly thing at the end of every C statement the compiler blows up.

History[edit | edit source]

The first semicolon was created by the Italian printer Joshua Baxter the Elder in 1494 when he accidentally knocked over an inkwell, leaving random black spots on the transcript he was printing. Fellow printer Aldus Pius Manutius mistook the ink blots for punctuation marks and named them semicolons, although even he could not figure out what to do with them. It was not until 17th century poet Ben Jonson began using semicolons in works such as the famous Lovers Made Men If You Know What I Mean ;) that the semicolon was established as the primary punctuation mark for creating emojis.

See also[edit | edit source]