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    • Join Date: Sep 2008
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    The elusive semicolon

    Why don't we have a section on punctuation? Is it because punctuation practices are far too diverse and/or situation-specific?

    I'm really interested to discover the 'official' line regarding the semicolon. I'm pretty sure it has a very well-defined role to play; but I tend to use it fairly willy-nilly, wherever it seems to fit.


    • Join Date: May 2008
    • Posts: 810
    #2

    Re: The elusive semicolon

    Generally, I find using the semicolon relatively straightforward. If I have two sentences and I feel they are too closely connected to be divided by a full stop, I use a semicolon.

    The important thing to remember is that a semicolon must be preceeded and proceeded by full sentences.

    The colon provides me with more of a challenge.

    I agree that a specific punctuation section would be beneficial.
    Last edited by colloquium; 24-Sep-2008 at 16:26.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434
    #3

    Re: The elusive semicolon

    Welcome to the forums.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pedagog View Post
    Why don't we have a section on punctuation? Is it because punctuation practices are far too diverse and/or situation-specific?

    I'm really interested to discover the 'official' line regarding the semicolon. I'm pretty sure it has a very well-defined role to play; but I tend to use it fairly willy-nilly, wherever it seems to fit.
    Punctuation is part of general grammar. There is no specific forum for other grammatical details.

    As to the semi-colon, it has a specific function: Punctuation Made Simple: Guide to The Semicolon

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    • Join Date: Jul 2006
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    #4

    Re: The elusive semicolon

    I found this presentation on the net some time ago - can't trace it now - and I've had to zip it up. It's quite laborious to page through, but worth the effort.

    b

    PS Even after zipping it up (it was originally a PPS file) it's 165 Kb. So either Red5 can take pity on me, or anyone who wants it can send me a PM with their address.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #5

    Re: The elusive semicolon

    The site Anglika mentioned quotes these three sentences:

    Jim is a good typist; he makes few mistakes.

    The AFC Corporation is an excellent company to invest in; its investments have risen sharply and steadily over each of the last ten years.

    Ms. Sanchez is a successful real estate salesperson; however, she was unable to sell her own house.


    How do others in the forum conceive of 'pausing' and other uses of punctuation when they write? I would have written:

    Jim is a good typist and makes few mistakes.

    The AFC Corporation is an excellent company to invest in: its investments have risen sharply and steadily over each of the last ten years. (I'm willing to defend my choice!)

    Ms. Sanchez is a successful real estate salesperson; however, she was unable to sell her own house. (NO CHANGE...though perhaps myself, I would have used a period.)

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