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A grammar teacher claims that 'so' is NOT a conjunction. Assume this for this question.

Example Sentence: 1. It is the same before a Fire; the Heat of which sooner penetrates black Stockings than white ones, and so [IT] is apt sooner to burn a Man’s Shins.

2. It is the same before a Fire; the Heat of which sooner penetrates black Stockings than white ones ; so IT is apt sooner to burn a Man’s Shins.

3. It is the same before a Fire; the Heat of which sooner penetrates black Stockings than white ones ; so is apt sooner to burn a Man’s Shins.

2 and 3 are my rewrites of 1 with a semicolon. If 2 is right (but 3 wrong), why must you repeat the personal pronoun after a semicolon, but can omit the personal pronoun absent a semicolon?
Are 1 and 2 NOT equivalent semantically?

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  • @choster I apologise for this technical error. My Internet was malfunctioning; so that's why the 'Save Edit' function somehow corrupted into 'Ask a Question' ? The post above is the right one; I deleted the other. Please retain this.
    – user8712
    Mar 23, 2015 at 21:30
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    This is an 18th-century text, from a time at which punctuation differed greatly and syntax modestly from today's practice. Mar 23, 2015 at 21:31
  • @StoneyB Thanks. I could just contrive an example, such as "I am X, and so become Y." Would this be better? But the structure remains the same as Franklin's, which I quoted because his English surpasses mine, I also can't find a modern example from a reputable author; Google only yields "so am I" in this sense.
    – user8712
    Mar 23, 2015 at 21:34
  • @LawArea51Proposal-Commit It happens to everyone sometimes. I think the moderators have fixed things, or in any case, any closevotes on this question have now been removed.
    – choster
    Mar 23, 2015 at 21:47
  • @LawArea51Proposal-Commit I think you can test your teacher's perspective with something not obviously relevant to this case of so, like, "What is when in When he saw me, he waved? Is it an adverb, or is it a conjunction?" A simple question like this can help us understand how our teachers think. Mar 24, 2015 at 0:22

1 Answer 1

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It is the same before a Fire; the Heat of which sooner penetrates black Stockings than white ones, and so is apt sooner to burn a Man’s Shins.

It is the same before a fire (the heat of which sooner penetrates black stockings than white ones, and so is apt sooner to burn a man's shins).

so = for that reason, therefore, thus.

Parallelism: sooner penetrates ... is apt sooner to burn

Those parallel phrases have one and the same subject, "the heat of which".

"of which" refers back to "a fire".

P.S. In contemporary use, the semi-colon connects two clauses each of which can stand on its own as a well-formed sentence, but which properly belong together as a conceptual unit (as distinct from a grammatical one). There's the answer to your question whether a pronoun must be repeated after a semi-colon.

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  • Thank you for your answer. Could you please clarify your P.S.? So is it 'yes' or 'no' ? the semi-colon connects two clauses ... seems to imply YES. But belong together as a conceptual unit' seems to imply NO?
    – user8712
    Mar 24, 2015 at 18:55
  • I don't understand the reasoning behind your inference. Moreover, you've neglected the crucial thing: ...two clauses each of which can stand on its own as a well-formed sentence.
    – TimR
    Mar 24, 2015 at 20:17
  • When you wrote inference in your comment above, were you referring to my comment above or my OP? Anyhow, I remain confused. Two clauses => no need to repeat personal pronoun. A well-formed sentence => need to repeat personal pronoun ?
    – user8712
    Mar 24, 2015 at 20:57
  • The clauses on either side of a semi-colon (in contemporary usage) will be well-formed (i.e. sufficient grammatically) sentences; therein lies the answer to your question about repeated pronouns.
    – TimR
    Mar 24, 2015 at 20:59
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    The overarching rule is: do whatever you need to do to make a complete sentence on each side of the semicolon. Did you think to look up "well-formed"? At the top of the list: "(especially of a sentence or phrase) constructed according to grammatical rules."
    – TimR
    Mar 25, 2015 at 2:12

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