The other day, on Twitter, author A. Lee Martinez, who has written some of my favorite books (including Gil’s All Fright Diner, Divine Misfortune, and Chasing the Moon), called me “history’s greatest monster”:
@underpope You, sir, are history's greatest monster!
— A. Lee Martinez (@ALeeMartinez) December 26, 2012
Mind you, he wasn’t referring to my writing. I doubt he’s read anything of mine, aside from Tweets I’ve sent to him and the occasional email; rather, he was responding to my insistence on using the semicolon in my writing. He had said that his general advice to writers was to avoid the semicolon and to always use the Oxford comma. I responded, “You can have my semicolons when you pry them from my cold, dead, properly punctuated hands.” And it was in response to that that he uttered the epithet.
I was, of course, thrilled. The quote is now on the front page of my website. And I couldn’t help but post it to Facebook and everywhere else I could think of.
History’s greatest monster, indeed. My work here is done.