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I'm confused with when to use a comma or semi-colon when a word is repeated for emphasis because it's a general rule if you are to write two independent sentences together, they must have a conjunction to join them or a semi-colon. Yet, on Facebook or other writings I always see a comma used.

For example, Let's say I'm repeating "I". Is it:

I am the best; I am strong; I am dangerous.

Or,

I am the best, I am strong, I am dangerous.

Another example.

The car is black; the car can fly; the car is wet.

Or,

The car is black, the car can fly, the car is wet.

marked as duplicate by Nigel J, David, Centaurus, curiousdannii, Skooba Dec 11 '17 at 14:42

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    It's not an absolute rule. 'I came, I saw, I conquered.' is rarely weighed down with semicolons, and with what are almost 'catch-phrases', the semicolon can look over-fussy or worse. I'd use commas in these cases (if I had to use these expressions at all). – Edwin Ashworth Apr 12 '17 at 18:53
  • See also Using ... semi-colons in dialogue. – Edwin Ashworth Apr 12 '17 at 19:11
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There are no rules, at least not hard and fast. It more comes down to:

  1. Writing Style - Personal that is.
  2. Content - Most content, whether it be a newspaper article, a screenplay, an essay, a thesis, follow certain rules and customs which would need to be looked into and followed.

But when it comes to free-writing, creative writing, novels, short stories, even essays; it's you're own personal style which you should create for yourself.

I personally use semicolons in place of commas when I have used a series of commas to list out items or thoughts, but want to continue the thought flow without the break of a period. A period stops thought. See the paragraph above this one, and you'll note I did it naturally there.

Here's the difference had I used a period:

But when it comes to free-writing, creative writing, novels, short stories, even essays. It's you're own personal style which you should create for yourself.

I prefer what I did, as it's "inbetween" in terms of how long to hold the beat, or the pause...

But when it comes to free-writing, creative writing, novels, short stories, even essays; it's you're own personal style which you should create for yourself.

  • Thank you. I was taught whenever repetition of the same word or phrase is used at beginning of the sentence, a comma should be used. But what if it's an independent sentence with repetition? That's where I got confused and baffled. – Zebra Apr 13 '17 at 17:51
  • It really depends on what you are writing. Take for example the author Cormac McCarthy; he rarely uses punctuation at all; and it works... Take for example: "They rode on and the sun in the east flushed pale streaks of light and then a deeper run of color like blood seeping up in sudden reaches flaring planewise and where the earth drained up into the sky at the edge of creation the top of the sun rose out of nothing like the head of a great red phallus until it cleared the unseen rim and sat squat and pulsing and malevolent behind them." From Blood Meridian – McFlySoHigh Apr 13 '17 at 21:08
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When sentences are strung together without conjunctions between them, it is correct to use semicolons. If all the sentences are very short, then it is permissible (but not obligatory) to use commas instead. People have different opinions about the exact meaning of "very short", but I think just about everyone will agree that the three- or four-word sentences in your examples are short enough, so that the comma versions are OK. But please don't extrapolate from these examples to longer ones. (The fact that your example sentences begin with the same word is, as far as I know, irrelevant here.)

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