The tattoo is small — just two tiny symbols — but the meaning is huge.
In the rapidly growing business of body art, where more is usually more, this simple design is attracting national attention. People across the country are asking tattoo artists for the semicolon, that odd little punctuation mark that keeps the writer’s thoughts separate, but connected. It’s a casual, thoughtful version of the period.
But in this case, the ink has little to do with grammar. Project Semicolon began in 2013 as one woman’s way to honor the father she lost to suicide. Amy Bleuel, who battled her own struggles against depression and mental illness, saw the period-comma combo as a symbol of hope.
“A semicolon is used when an author could’ve chosen to end their sentence, but chose not to. The author is you and the sentence is your life,” the organization’s website says.
“Through the semicolon symbol many related to the struggle of depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide and their will to continue on … to believe that this is not the end but a new beginning.”
The faith-based nonprofit based in Green Bay, Wis., tries to assure people fighting depression, self harm, addiction and suicide that, “Your story isn’t over yet.”