2022-01-20 ศัพท์ น่าสับสน - Set – C – colons & semicolons


Revision C

2022-01-20

ศัพท์ น่าสับสน - Set – C – colons & semicolons

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Dictionary.com:

ออกเสียง colons = “KOH-luhn”

ออกเสียง semicolons = “SEM-i-koh-luhn”

 

Common Errors in English Usage Dictionary:

colons & semicolons

Colons have a host of uses, but they mostly have in common that

the colon acts to connect what precedes it with what follows

Think of the two dots of a colon as if 

they were stretched out to form an equal sign

so that you get cases like this

“he provided all the ingredients: sugar, flour, butter, and vanilla.” 

There are a few exceptions to this pattern, however. 

One unusual use of colons 

is in between the chapter and verses of a Biblical citation, 

 

for instance, “Matthew 6:5.” 

In bibliographic citationa colon separates the city from the publisher: “New York: New Directions, 1979.” 

It also separates minutes from hours in times of day 

when given in figures: “8:35.”

It is incorrect to substitute a semicolon in any of these cases

Think of the semicolon as 

erecting a little barrier with that dug-in comma under the dot; 

semicolons always imply separation rather than connection.

A sentence made up of two distinct parts 

whose separation needs to be emphasized may do so with a semicolon

Mary moved to Seattle; she was sick of getting sunburned in Los Angeles.” 

When a compound sentence contains commas 

within one or more of its clauses

you have to escalate to a semicolon to separate the clauses themselves:

“It was a mild, deliciously warm spring day; 

and Mary decided to walk to the fair.” 

The other main use of semicolons is 

to separate one series of items from another

—a series within a series, if you will: 

“The issues discussed by the board of directors were many: 

the loud, acrimonious complaints of the stockholders

the abrupt, devastating departure of the director

and the startlinghumiliating discovery that he had absconded with half the company’s assets.” 

Any time the phrases which make up a series contain commas

for whatever reason,

they need to be separated by semicolons

Many people are so terrified of making the wrong choice 

that they try to avoid colons and semicolons altogether

but I’m afraid this just can’t be done

Formal writing requires their use, and 

it’s necessary to learn the correct patterns.

 

The A-Z of Correct English Common Errors in English Dictionary:

Colons

(A)     Colons can introduce a list

Get your ingredients together

flour, sugar, dried fruit, butter and milk

Note that 

a summing-up word should always precede the colon 

(here ‘ingredients’). 

(B)     Colons can precede an explanation 

          or amplification of what has gone before:

The teacher was elatedat last the pupils were gaining in confidence.

Note that

what precedes the colon must always be able to stand on its own grammatically

It must be a sentence in its own right

(C)     Colons can introduce dialogue in a play

Henry (with some embarrassment)It’s all my own fault

(D)    Colons can be used instead of a comma 

to introduce direct speech: 

Henry said, with some embarrassment: It’s all my own fault.’

(E)     Colons can introduce quotations:

Donne closes the poem with the moving tribute

‘Thy firmness makes my circle just And makes me end where I began.

 

Semicolons

Semicolons have two functions

(A)     They can replace a full stop by joining two related sentences

Ian is Scottish. His wife is Irish

Ian is Scottishhis wife is Irish.

(B)     They can replace the commasin a list which separate items

Semicolons are particularly useful with longer items 

where commas might be needed for other reasons. 

Emily has bought some lovely things for her new flat

five hugebrightly coloured floor cushions; 

some woven throws, in neutral colours and of wonderful textures

an Afghan rug; a brilliant blue glass vase

and a wine rack, very elegant, shaped like two Ss on their backs

 

Dictionary.com:

Punctuation Marks

Published May 21, 2020

The semicolon

semicolon (;) separates sentences that are closely related 

but grammatically independent

For example:

  • My brother isn’t feeling wellhe’s been sick for a week.

The two independent sentences could be separated by a period

but the semicolon works here since the two sentences are closely related.

You can also use semicolons to separate a list of items that contain commas

For instance:

  • I’ve been to Paris, France; London, England; Rome, Italy; and Madrid, Spain.

Imagine how confusing reading that would be if there were commas where the semicolons are.

 

The colon

colon (:) can introduce a list or a single item

For example:

  • I need a bunch of supplies for school: pencils, glue, crayons, and scissors.

Here’s an example of a colon introducing a single item:

  • There’s one thing I want for my birthday: a car.

(May we suggest a more realistic series 

separated with commas instead? 

The only things I want for my birthday are a car, some cash, and a waffle maker.

See, what a difference a comma makes!)

 

The Farlex Grammar Book > 

English Punctuation > 

Colons

What is a colon?

colon ( : ) is used after an independent clause 

to add information that helps illustrate or clarify what it says

It is most commonly used to introduce a list, 

but it can also introduce words, phrases, or entire clauses

that complete the meaning of the clause that came before it.

 

First, we’ll look at when it is appropriate to use a colon

and then we’ll look more closely at all the specific ways it can be used.

 

When to use a colon.

When using colons, the general rule is 

to only place them after an independent clause

that is, a clause that can stand on its own as a complete sentence 

and is not grammatically dependent in any way 

on the information that the colon introduces

Don’t use a colon after a single word or a sentence fragment

in which case a comma or no punctuation at all 

would be more appropriate.

If you feel a colon is necessary or helpful

try to reword the introductory clause 

so that it could stand on its own as a complete sentence.

 

Additionally, because colons act as an introductory element

they stand in place of words that would perform the same task

we should not use colons after words or phrases 

like for example, e.g., or namely* 

because they serve the same purpose

and the sentence would seem redundant if a colon were used as well

We must either use a colon on its own, 

or an introductory adverb with a comma 

(or no punctuation at all) instead of a colon:

 

Note that 

you can also use dashes before words like for example and namely 

if you want to put emphasis on the text that follows, 

or you can simply use a dash on its own 

(but you would not use dashes and colons together). 

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Usage Notes

A Guide to Using Colons

What to Know

Colons (:) introduce clauses or phrases 

that serve to describe, amplify, or restate what precedes them.

Often they are used to introduce a quote 

or a list that satisfies the previous statement

For example, 

this summary could be written as 

"Colons can introduce many thingsdescriptors, quotes, lists, and more."

 

What Is a Colon?

We all know the colon, right? 

It's a punctuation mark that looks like two dots stacked

like a period with another period hovering above it :

It's typically a mark of introduction

used to let the reader know that what follows the colon

has been pointed to or described by what precedes the colon.

(This is quite a different function from that of the semicolon

which is mostly used to separate two independent sentence parts 

that are related in meaning.)

 

In the running prose that we encounter 

in books, magazines, articles, and the like

colons are mostly used to introduce a clause 

or a phrase that explains, illustrates, amplifies, or restates 

what precedes them. 

(Reminder

clauses and phrases are both groups of words within a sentence

the basic difference between them is that 

a clause has its own subject and verb, while a phrase does not.)

 

Colons Introduce Clauses and Phrases

Let's first look at some colons introducing clauses 

and phrases that explain, illustrate, amplify, and restate

what's come before

 

In this example

what comes after the colon explains just what the argument referred to 

in the first part of the sentence is all about

Note that 

what follows the colon is not capitalized, but it could be

As a clause

—it has its own subject and verb and could in fact 

function alone as its own sentence

albeit a sentence of the question variety

it certainly looks like something that can start with a capital letter,

but whether it does or not is simply a matter of style

 

(Note that in British English the style is typically to go lowercase.

Lowercase also happens to be Merriam-Webster's style.) 

Be consistent

capitalize the first letter in every clause that follows a colon, 

or always use lowercase.

 

Here, the phrase following the colon illustrates what comes before it

Being a phrase and all, there is no capital letter

(There of course would be a capital letter 

if the first word of the phrase were a proper noun or acronym.)

 

A colon can also introduce something that acts as an appositive. (Reminder

An appositive is a noun or noun phrase that refers to 

the same thing as another noun or noun phrase in the same sentence

and is usually right next to that other noun or noun phrase

like in "my neighbor the doctor." 

The two nouns/noun phrases

—in this case "my neighbor" and "the doctor"

—are said to stand "in grammatical apposition," 

which means that 

they have the same syntactical relation to the rest of the sentence.) 

The appositive that follows the colon can be 

an amplifying word, phrase, or clause:

 

How NOT to Use Colons

We note in this aside that a colon is not used to separate 

subject from its predicate;

a noun from its verb; 

a verb from its object or complement; or 

a preposition from its object:

  • avoid - The sheer size of Mabel's umbrella collection: is stunning.
  • avoid - Harry's favorite umbrella: broke.
  • avoid - The umbrella's opening mechanism was: hopelessly jammed.
  • avoid - Mabel presented Harry with a choice umbrella of: her own.

 

Colons Can Introduce Lists and Series

And then there is the colon that introduces a list or series

What follows the colon is typically a word or phrase

so capitals are not be expected 

unless there's a proper noun or acronym:

 

Colons Can Introduce Quotations

Colons are also commonly used in prose to introduce quotations. 

When the quoted material is lengthy, 

it's usually set off from the rest of the text by indentation 

but not by quotation marks:

 

A colon can also be used before a quotation in running text

especially when the quotation is lengthy;

or when it is a formal statement 

or a statement being given special emphasis

or when a full independent clause precedes the colon

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Semicolon

Did you know?

The semicolon was introduced into modern type 

by an Italian printer around 1566. 

But since it's actually the same symbol 

as the ancient Greek question mark

it's older than the colon (:), which first appears around 1450

Don't mix the two up.

A colon introduces something: usually a list, sometimes a statement

A semicolon separates two independent but related clauses

it may also replace the comma to separate items in a complicated list.

 

Merriam-Webster Dictionary:

Usage Notes

A Guide to Using Semicolons

You too can become a semicolon master!

What to Know

Semicolons (;) separate independent clauses that are related in meaning, 

and they separate items in a list 

when those items themselves are long or include commas

For example, 

this summary could say 

"Semicolons are useful; they show that clauses are related in meaning."

 

What Is a Semicolon?

The semicolon is the colon's quirkier sibling

While the colon is simply two dots stacked

the semicolon is a dot hovering over a comma ;

The semicolon does jobs that are also done by other punctuation marks, but puts its own spin on the task

Like a comma, it can separate elements in a series

Like a period or colon, it often marks the end of a complete clause 

(that is, a sentence part that has its own subject and verb). 

And like a colon

it signals that what follows it is closely related to what comes before it.

 

Semicolons Separate Independent Clauses

A semicolon separates related independent clauses 

that are joined withoutcoordinating conjunction

A semicolon can also replace a comma between two clauses 

that are joined by a coordinating conjunction 

like and in cases where the sentence might otherwise be confusing

for example

because of particularly long clauses, or the presence of other commas:

Semicolons are used especially 

when the second clause is introduced by an adverb or a short phrase

such as 

howeverindeedthus

in that caseas a resulton the other hand

for example, or that is:

Such an adverb or phrase can also appear elsewhere in the second clause:

 

A semicolon can also join two statements 

when the second clause is missing some essential words 

that are supplied by the first clause

In short sentences, a comma often replaces the semicolon:

 

A semicolon is also often used before introductory expressions 

such as for example

that is, and namely, in place of a colon, comma, dash, or parenthesis:

 

Semicolons Separate Phrases or Items in a List or Series

A semicolon is used in place of a comma 

to separate phrases or items in a list or series 

when the phrases or items themselves contain commas 

or are especially long:

When the items in a series are long or are sentences themselves, 

they are usually separated by semicolons 

even if they lack internal commas:

Note that, unlike commas and periods,

a semicolon that punctuates the larger sentence 

is placed outside quotation marks and parentheses:

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