Colons: No Cleansing Necessary

Did you notice how I used a colon in the title? As you can see, it exemplifies one of the uses of this handy punctuation mark: to further illustrate what comes before the colon. Don’t capitalize following a colon unless it is a stand-alone sentence. Two examples:

  • From the AP Stylebook: He promised this: The company will make good all the losses.
  • From GrammarBook.com: Remember the old saying: Be careful what you wish for.

Here’s another reason the gods gave us colons: to make lists: 

  • The shopping list Fred gave her was convoluted at best: driveway salt, buckwheat flour, 3-4 swim caps, Craisins, new beige sectional, and rainbow sprinkles.
  • The best qualities in a date: silence and the willingness to foot the bill.

You can also introduce quotations using a colon:

  • Shakespeare said it best: “To thine own self be true.”
  • Grandma Frankie’s advice was sometimes confusing: “Don’t give ’em a nickel if you can’t trust ’em with a quarter.”

And last but not least: Use colons for emphasis:

  • From the ThePunctuationGuide.com: After three weeks of deliberation, the jury finally reached a verdict: guilty.
  • Sherry could only think of one word to describe Gemma: snob.

Have questions? Leave ’em in the comments or shoot me a message. And study up: There’s a quiz tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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