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I'm writing a bio for my website. I have a section where I talk about why I am interested in computer programming. When I read it to myself, it sounds great (because I know where to put the pauses in my head) but I'm not sure how well it reads to someone who isn't me. Can anyone give some input? I think it needs a semi colon somewhere or something.

At the core of my passion however, is the knowledge that with enough work, programming is a medium that can turn thoughts and ideas into actual value, real products that can demonstrate influence over the malleable world we let them loose in.

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  • "and ideas into actual value, real products that can demonstrate" -- there seems to be a disconnect there. – Hot Licks Nov 2 '15 at 23:28
  • @HotLicks Yeah that's where I felt the disconnect as well, but my grammar is abysmal. So, I wasn't sure what to put there besides a period. – Luke Nov 2 '15 at 23:33
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    Remember, there's no law saying that you can't use more than one sentence. Often that's the best solution to awkward, run-on sentences. – Hot Licks Nov 2 '15 at 23:35
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    ... that can turn thoughts and ideas into real products with actual value that can assert influence over the malleable world we let them loose in. But I really think that the statement becomes too highfalutin and pretentious for its own good starting with "malleable world..." – Jim Nov 2 '15 at 23:44
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    I just wrote what sounded right... – Jim Nov 2 '15 at 23:52
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Your gut instinct is right, because as it is, the sentence is a run-on and not quite grammatically correct. So it won't read properly to outside readers. You can easily fix it with some punctuation.

At the core of my passion, however, is the knowledge that with enough work, programming is a medium that can turn thoughts and ideas into actual value: real products that can demonstrate influence over the malleable world we let them loose in.

That is, a comma after "passion", and something other than a comma after "value"--an em-dash would also work. You can also always just split it into two smaller sentences.

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@Yee-Lum it is more butchered than you think. Plus a colon does not fit there; a semicolon as just used here would be more appropriate.

"At the core of my passion however, is the knowledge that with enough work, programming is a medium that can turn thoughts and ideas into actual value, real products that can demonstrate influence over the malleable world we let them loose in."

When your second comma is employed after the word, "work," your sentence ceases to make sense when followed by "programming is -." This would make more sene (note how I removed the word, "that" after, "medium"):

At the core of my passion however, is the knowledge that with enough work, programming [AS] a medium can turn thoughts and ideas into . . .

Now I think if you switched your wording a little bit, your message would sound much stronger. Instead of turning thoughts into value at first, use products instead, then mention value secondly. Like this:

"At the core of my passion however, is the knowledge that with enough work, programming as a medium can turn thoughts and ideas into tangible products with real value; creations that can demonstrate influence over the malleable world we let them loose in."

How does that look to you?

  • .......I like it! – Luke Nov 3 '15 at 0:30
  • You might like it, but this answer is unfortunately wrong. The part of a sentence that follows a semicolon cannot be an incomplete sentence, and "creations that can demonstrate influence over the malleable world we let them loose in" is not a full sentence because it doesn't actually have a verb. "...that can demonstrate..." is a descriptive phrase for "creations", and not a verb phrase. And you do still need a comma after "passion". – Yee-Lum Nov 3 '15 at 1:11
  • The wording is up to you, and there's always license (in informal writing like a website bio) to not adhere completely strictly to grammar rules if you feel that it benefits your writing, but a colon is the more grammatically correct punctuation for your original sentence. – Yee-Lum Nov 3 '15 at 1:16
  • Yee-Lum, you are so wrong I cannot even begin to pluck at the fallacies you are asserting. – Nicholas Nov 3 '15 at 1:37
  • Maybe you could do me the favor of trying to pluck so both @LukeP and I can learn from you? – Yee-Lum Nov 3 '15 at 9:43

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