Slate has a cute article today about the disappearance of the semicolon. It reminded me of something funny that happened to me once.
I was at Houston Community College, taking an English composition class to satisfy some general requirement. Our essays were graded based on this rubric where you got points in various categories, one of which was Punctuation. On my first paper, I got less than full credit in this category, which I found rather astonishing - I had surely not made a punctuation error. But it seemed that in order to get full credit, you needed to show sophistication.
"More semicolons!" I told myself. I was careful to include a couple in my next paper.
And, sure enough, I got the credit.