The maple leaves will change and fall with a certain grace - November will begin.
Carla read that sentence in her Literature textbook over and over, and the thought that kept running through her mind was, 'Who edited this book?'
That wasn't entirely true, but her internal monogue ran along these lines. Was she the only tenth grader who knew that semicolons connected independant phrases? Older people complained about how texting was ruining the language, but what difference did that make when a text book author, in what she assumed was an edited textbook ILLUSTRATING the language, couldn't even catch such an obvious mistake?
Who knows? Maybe this is some rare exception, but it took her out of the story. She couldn't concentrate on the beauty of the narrative, the descriptions of the scenery, the other literary devices, because she kept wanting to slap the textbook's editor.
She made a note on her smartphone to look it up later, since she didn't currently have a wifi connection. After all, she COULD be wrong, though she doubted it. Years of listening to Grammar Girl and obsessively checking her own writing for punctuation pitfalls had made her not only confident in her own grammatical prowess, but intolerant of basic writing mistakes in others.
If she was wrong, she'd do penance for her error in judgement. Perhaps she'd write one hundred times on her Google Drive, 'Judge not others' grammar, lest your own grammar be judged.'
But would that take a comma or a semicolon?