Not rules but style, not precise descriptions but dreamy enticements!
Cecilia Watson‘s little book, Semicolon, surprised me. I expected humorous examples of bad punctuation illustrating why proper usage matters. Instead the meat of the book is a criticism of rules and a celebration of living language.
Watson argues that good writers imagine how their words will be heard and only incidentally worry if they are breaking rules or convention. She offers many examples of excellent writing that violate any number of rules. It isn‘t that rules of punctuation have no value but that communication is what counts.
She also champions the vague and the imprecise, not only when the subject is vague and imprecise but also to engage the reader‘s imagination, to enlist the reader as a collaborator.
Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark by Cecilia Watson, an ECCO book published by Harper-Collins, 2019, designed by Suet Yee Chong, illustrated by Anthony Russo, 183 pages.