Lit Rant – The Overuse of the Colon

What is going on?

The last two books I read were littered with colons. While the authors and editors are usually not using it incorrectly, they are using it unwisely.

It feels like they just received a shiny new toy and cannot help themselves.

I might not be an editor or perfect with my own grammar, but I do claim to be experienced as a reader, and I know when something is not flowing right.

Every time I see one, I feel like the author just burped in my face. It feels rude and unclean, and it damages the flow of the sentence and looks choppy.

Please, for the love of all readers, stop.

If you are a fiction writer, embrace self-control when using punctuation. It makes a huge difference when reading a story.

I found this New York Times blog article about authors who overuse it and why not to. If you have the time, take a moment to read it.

What about you? Have you started noticing the use or overuse of the colon? I do not remember ever seeing it to the extent I am now.




This entry was posted by thruthewords.

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