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punctuation

As promised, here is some additional guidance about using the semicolon. Before I get to the semicolon guidance–actually to lay the groundwork for it–I need to mention another punctuation mark.

This flimsiest of punctuation marks, the comma, barely slows a reader down. We hardly see them. This is the reason your English teacher was so horrified when you made what she called “comma splices”–you used the wimpy comma to separate two independent clauses, two groups of words that each could have been a sentence. Shame on you!

There really is logic here. If we are to digest “main ideas,” we… Continue reading

Actually, this question should never come up, as the uses of the two punctuation marks are quite different!

The colon is a very strong punctuation mark. It brings the reader to a dead stop! The only stronger punctuation mark is the period. You use a colon most often when you want to stop the reader before presenting a number of items in series.

For example–

Our reasons for choosing Hanover as a place of residence are these: the excellent school system, the weather, and the small town quality of life we experience here.

You can also use a colon for… Continue reading