What is this symbol :- called and where do we use it?
Can anyone explain please?
It's an unlikely combination. It's possibly just a sideways smileface-type thingie, like : )
I have no mouth and I must scream! (Harlan Ellison)
It's redundant or overkill punctuation IMO.
When I was at school we used to call it two dots and a dash.
You might still see some people use it to introduce a list rather than a colon alone.
'These boys will stay behind after school:- Prosser, Latham, Macy and Duffy'.
What's the conclusion now? Does it still exist in English? What does it function? Shall we continue to teach our children or not? Is it a part of English punctuation marks or not? If we use it in academic writing, will it not lead to marks being deducted?
:-, this punctuation mark is no longer in use. It is now replaced by the colon (:).