Commonplace: Entry 1

  • IC. This independent clause culminates in a period. There are several additional options by which to end an independent clause.
  • IC. The state is the most basic unit of the Westphalian System. Some suggest that this may change in the near-future.


  • IC; Much controversy surrounds Guantanamo Bay; many activists allege the presence of human rights violations.
  • IC; Arabic is often construed to use an extremely difficult alphabet; usually it is the result of misunderstanding the number of distinct characters.


If the periods separating the first two independent clauses were to be replaced by a semicolon, it would not alter their mechanical viability. What it will do, however, is create a change in their flow and meaning. For instance, in its present state, the first sentence has a distinct pause between the point that the first clause ends in a period and the next point that suggests there are different ways to end a sentence. This makes it seem portrayed as two entirely different concepts. With a semicolon, the flow between the first and second clauses relates them to each other.

If the semicolons in the last two sets of independent clauses were replaced with periods it would separate the ideas and portray them as being entirely distinct of the other. For instance, in the third set, a period would portray the controversy surrounding Guantanamo Bay is distinct from the claims of human rights violations. While the mechanics are valid in both forms, it alters the meaning that the reader receives.

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