In an article that largely explains what makes me like the French, the Guardian examines the current French tempête over the semicolon. Jon Henley, the author of the piece, collects some priceless quotations about the mark, and although I disagree on the merits, the best observation belongs to a grouchy Vonnegut:
If you really want to hurt your parents, and you don't have the nerve to be a homosexual, the least you can do is go into the arts. But do not use semicolons. They are transvestite hermaphrodites, standing for absolutely nothing. All they do is show you've been to college.