"Project Semicolon was founded in 2013 by Amy Bleuel of Green Bay, Wis., who lost her father to suicide. He, like 34,000 Americans every year, decided to cut his own story short. In his memory, Bleuel is encouraging Americans to take a different route—and she’s using the semicolon to get her point across, turning it into a symbol of hope and continuation."
"A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to,” Project Semicolon’s site says. “The author is you and the sentence is your life.”
- Paul Assay, The Best Use of the Semicolon Ever, Patheos
In Semicolon: The Past, Present and Future Uses of a Misunderstood Mark, Cecelia Watson explains that there are no formal rules for using the semicolon. She offers many different uses of the mark, including the following three, to which I add a fourth: an icon for process theology.
Piling on clauses
A way of saying to the reader who is carrying a bag of groceries: "Here, I know you have a lot, but can you take another bag."
"A place where our anxieties and our aspirations about language, class, and education are concentrated, so that in this small mark big ideas are distilled down to a few winking drops of ink."
"The semicolons are Moby-Dick’s joints, allowing the novel the freedom of movement it needed to tour such a large and disparate collection of themes. … Just as sailors needed instruments to wander out past sight of shore, Moby-Dick required writing technologies that could allow it to venture out beyond the genre constraints of its time."