Semicolons & Colons

Posted by Kevin Walker on October 13, 2012

I’ve been very bad at keeping my blog up-to-date; I’ve just had too much on. Still, it’s been a good 6 months, and I’m forcing myself to make another post. The subject this time? Well, I thought I’d keep in the punctuation theme and write about Semicolons and Colons. Why? Because despite my cool exterior, I’m a little bit of a nerd. Also, a friend prompted this by creating a new guide to Colons & Semicolons.

I’m amazed at how ignored the Semicolon is. It’s such a useful punctuation; it should be used much more. OK, I’m showing off there, but I get bored of using the comma and full stop all the time and this friend of mine felt the same, and has built a short guide to using the Colon and Semicolon at www.colonsemicolon.com.

Basically, use the semicolon to join two ‘clauses’ together: statements that could also have been made into two separate sentences, but because they are related can be joined in a semicolon. They are also useful for splitting lists and even numbers when there are commas already present due to the size (e.g. 1,000). Anyway, if you want semicolon examples, look here: www.colonsemicolon.com/semicolon-examples

Colons are much less mysterious, and I find people are usually OK with them. Use the colon to introduce new information. I see it used well in lists, but you can also use it in sentences: like this! I won’t go on too much about colons, so if you want to see examples of the colon in use, check out my mate’s website at: www.colonsemicolon.com/colon-examples

Anyway, that’s all from me. I’m going to 'Off the Shelf’ tonight, the Sheffield literary festival, so now I’m feeling more worthy have done my bit for punctuation, the colon and my favourite, the semicolon.