Fares were offered to Corfu, the Greek island, Morocco, Elba, in
the Mediterranean, and Paris. Margaret thought about it. She had
been to Elba once and had found it dull, to Morocco, and found it
There is no option for an upstanding semicolon in such circumstances than to
step in, blow a whistle and restore order.
Fares were offered to Corfu, the Greek island; Morocco; Elba, in
the Mediterranean; and Paris. Margaret thought about it. She had
been to Elba once and had found it dull; to Morocco, and found it
3. Linking words such as "however," "nevertheless," "also",
"consequently" and "hence" require a semicolon.
He woke up in his own bed; nevertheless, he was OK.
According to H.W. Fowler, the colon "delivers the goods that have been invoiced
in the preceding words." George Bernard Shaw tells us, when two statements are
"placed baldly in dramatic apposition," use a colon. Thus:
Luruns could not speak: he was drunk.
Shaw explains to Lawrence that when the second statement reaffirms, explains
or illustrates the first, you use a colon; also when you desire an abrupt pull up:
Luruns was congenitally literary: that is, a liar.
Lynne Truss tells us that a colon is nearly always preceded by a complete
sentence, and in its simplest usage it rather theatrically announces what is to
come. "Like a well-trained magician's assistant, it pauses slightly to give you time
to get a bit worried and then efficiently whisks away the cloth and reveals the
This much is clear, Watson: it was the baying of an enormous hound.
This much is clear, Watson--yes! it was the baying of an enormous
Tom has only one rule in life; never eat anything bigger than your head.
(Tom had only one rule in life--yes! never eat anything bigger than your
I pulled out all the stops with Kerry-Anne: I used a semicolon.
(I pulled out all the stops with Kerry-Anne--yes! I used a semicolon.)
As well as the "Yes!" type colon, there is the "Ah" type, when the colon reminds
us there is probably more than has met the eye:
I loved Opal Fruits as a child: no one else did.
A classic use of the colon is a kind of fulcrum between two antithetical or
Man proposes: God disposes.