The Write Stuff
March 2012 Volume 8 Issue 3
Several Simple Semicolon Strategies
If you’d like to add semicolons to your punctuation arsenal, please be aware that they may be used in the following two distinct ways:
1. Semicolons can provide a bridge between two sentences that relate to one another. “Sentences” is most important in that definition; the copy on either side of the semicolon needs to be able to stand alone as its own sentence. (See? I just did it!)
Here are a few other examples:
The common denominator here is that you could replace the semicolons with periods and the result in each case would be two perfectly fine sentences. By choosing to connect them via a semicolon, however, you enhance the copy’s flow and readability.
2. Semicolons can also be used to “manage” list copy when one of more items contains a comma, like this:
The common denominator here is that by utilizing semicolons to separate list items, you eliminate any confusion that might ensue from using commas.
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