Shove a few colons in your copy and it really looks like you know what you’re doing; use them incorrectly and you can look like a right flump.
Semi-colons should be used to mark a pause longer than a comma and shorter than a full stop. Don’t overdo them.
Use them to distinguish phrases listed after a colon if commas will not do the job clearly.
Example: They agreed on only three points: he should do the recycling; she should do the washing up; and that they were a very dull couple.
1) Use a colon “to deliver the goods that have been invoiced in the preceding words” (Fowler). For example: They
brought presents: rollerblades, piglets and a packet of cheesy crisps.
2) Use a colon before a whole quoted sentence, but not before a quotation that begins in mid-sentence. She said: “It will never work.” He retorted that it had “always worked before”.
3) Use a colon for antithesis or contrasts. Fat dog: thin cat.
Smiles 🙂 ;-(
Colons also come in handy when trying to add expression to boring texts and emails. Simply make an oh-so-amusing smiley face that says, ‘I’m not as boring as you think. Look! I added a smiley face to my tedious email to prove it.”
Try to refrain from doing this, as it’s neither big nor clever.
Did you like this post?
You might like my book ‘Confessions of a Misfit Entrepreneur | How to succeed despite yourself’ – buy it online here.
Want to have a chat?
If you need a Copywriter, SEO Consultant or Information Architect, then please contact me.