Featuring: The wonderful world of Marvel cartoons! Flame chats with Neverever about Stony content as well as the larger narratives of the various cartoon series, and then Flerret chat about Quit While You’re Ahead by magicasen in The Plug. Prof Flame’s got a soapbox about the patriarchy and age in fandom, the Grammar Mustelid is back for a chat about semi-colons, and then a Steve Tony Games update before we get into your Events Forecast.
Interview: Neverever, The Plug: “Quit While You’re Ahead” by magicasen, Prof Flame’s Soapbox, Grammar Mustelid: Semicolons, Events Forecast, Life of an Event, Steve Tony Games Finale Update!
(Scroll down for individual segments)
Thanks to tifftac, Neverever, magicasen, and the PotsCast staff.
- Fics Mentioned in This Episode:
- References in Flame’s Rant:
- Steve Tony Games
- And More!
- How To Get A Hold of Us:
Coming up on this episode…
Cartoons, Fandom Origin Story, Stony Content, Avengers Assemble is so soft and Flame needs to watch it, Comics’ Influence on Cartoons
The Plug: Quit While You’re Ahead by magicasen
Gay chicken, Cartoon fics as gentler canon, Soft without being saccharine, Hot AF
Prof Flame’s Soapbox, Grammar Mustelid: Semicolons, Life of an Event: Stuckony Summer Stocking, Events Forecast, Steve Tony Games Finale Update!
Transcript of Ferret’s explanations for anyone like Flame who needs to read and listen to stuff this detailed:
- Our last two grammar talks have been fairly broad-concept and perhaps fairly challenging on a few fronts so I’m going to focus on something more concrete and relatable today: semicolons
- There are three uses for semicolons and only one of them is something you’re likely to use when writing fanfiction, but seeing the other two could confuse the situation if you don’t know why they’re being used as they are. So I’m going to explain all three and hopefully you’ll feel more confident using them yourself AND understand better how they’re used elsewhere.
- First up is in lists. You’re not particularly likely to use the list construction in writing fanfic, but you may end up using it in other forms of writing you do.
- Imagine a grocery list. “Apples, pears, donuts, eggs.” If we write it in point form, we’ll use a list format with dots or lines to indicate each new item, but if the list is written out as a sentence, it’ll be divided with commas. But what if we want to add more information about each item?
- “Apples, gala not granny smith, pears, but only if you can get a big bag, not individually, donuts, I want the jelly filled kind but you should also get some chocolate ones, eggs, large, brown, and on sale”
- If we use commas for that whole thing, it looks like this [read again with commas]
- That’s… hard to follow. So we can replace the commas that divide into items, and leave the commas that add additional information, to make it more clear which information goes with which items and where the item divides are:
- “Apples, gala not granny smith; pears, but only if you can get a big bag, not individually; donuts, I want the jelly filled kind but you should also get some chocolate ones; eggs, large, brown, and on sale”
- Generally, it’s not a great idea to use it in fiction, because it suggests your list is too complicated to understand easily and you might be better off re-phrasing things, but as always, that’s a stylistic choice. It’s certainly better to use a semicolon than a comma in this situation, so if that’s your choice – go with the semicolon! There’s no need to use semicolons to divide things up if each item is individual and uncomplicated and has no “internal” commas. Another case where that could be critical is listing places: “Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, London, Ontario, Ontario, California, Vancouver, British Columbia, Brazil.”
- This list is hugely confusing! Is Ontario listed twice? Is it “London” and “Ontario” or “London, Ontario” Very different! But if we add semicolons it’s perfectly clear
- “Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; London, Ontario; Ontario, California; Vancouver, British Columbia; Brazil.”
- That’s use one of semicolons!
- The second use has fallen so far out of style that I’m tempted to call it old-fashioned. It’s still cited in most grammar lessons, but the modern books I’ve been reading don’t edit for it and it’s not common at all in fanfic. It’s important to understand it, however, so if you see it you know why, and also so you can use it if you wish!
- This is the use of a semicolon before a conjuctive adverb.
- A conjunctive adverb is an adverb that joins ideas together but isn’t given the same power to join independent clauses that a conjunction has. Or at least wasn’t because I think we can make a fair argument that this isn’t true anymore.
- An example is:
- Tony wouldn’t stop teasing Bucky in class; therefore Mr. Fury sent him to detention.
- Some examples of conjunctive adverbs are:
- Therefore, then, accordingly, furthermore, finally, before, now, however, instead, rather, indeed, of course, certainly, for example, also AND likewise
- I see these constructions done with two commas, treating the conjunctive adverb as if it is a conjunction all the time, BUT if you want to use a semicolon here you are perfectly correct. If you want an example of someone who loooves this construction, look at L. Frank Baum!
- Finally, we get to the construction with semicolons that you are most likely to use: joining two independent clauses with no conjunction at all
- An example is: Steve would make it on his own; he always had
- Why not use a comma? Because then we have a COMMA SPLICE. We talked about this last time. If you stick together two independent clauses with naught but a comma, you’re forming a comma splice, a common mistake. If both parts can stand grammatically on their own, you can’t use a comma.
- Why not use a period? Well, you totally can but it does mean something sliiightly different. A semicolon gives the two clauses a stronger connection than a period. With a period, you just have two sentences. With a semicolon, you have sibling clauses, close and related.
- Why not use a conjunction? Well, again, you totally can, but it changes the flow just a bit and ties the sentences together more strongly than a semicolon. The choice between a semicolon, a period, and a conjunction here is one of stylistic preference, whereas the comma would be grammatically incorrect.
- I hope this helps you understand – and love! – the darling semicolon a little more. Maybe when you’re editing, if you notice two sentences that are separated but have more poetic impact when joined together semantically, you might try throwing in a little semicolon there and see how it feels.
On My Way by Kevin MacLeod