ChanteSez … If you’re semi-sure, don’t use a semicolon

2 May

The semicolon is probably the most misunderstood piece of punctuation ever. ChanteSez don’t use it unless you’re 100 percent sure on its proper placement.

The most appropriate use for a semicolon is to group items within a list, and the list should follow a colon. For example:

  • I went grocery shopping today and picked up several things: from Kroger, deli meat, bread, mayonnaise, baby spinach and tomatoes; from Trader Joe’s, some wine, cheese, and chocolate-covered almonds; and from Aldi, graham crackers, bread crumbs and garlic bread.

The other most common use for a semicolon is as a “link” in a sentence when “and,” “but” or “for” are absent. An example:

  • You could tell that the vocalist practices her instrument as much as any lauded pianist; the audience’s response proved it.
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