For the discussion of language mechanics, grammar, vocabulary, trends, and other such linguistic topics, in english and other languages.
Moderators: gmalivuk, Prelates, Moderators General
What are the valid uses of the : symbol?
I've been taught conflicting things.
- Posts: 3798
- Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 7:42 am UTC
- Location: Ottawa, Canada
I am in no position to be telling anyone anything about English, but I always learned it was for displaying lists: apples, oranges, bananas, tomatoes, tomatoes, etc...
But then again, I am usually out of my league with grammar.
- Rodan's Title
- Posts: 1533
- Joined: Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:39 am UTC
- Location: Waikiki
Denoting a list, presenting an example as a new paragraph/section (for in-sentence examples a comma generally works, doesn't it?), or whenever the pause of a semicolon is too short and that of a full stop too long. That is, of course, some combination of formal education and my own personal opinion.
- pretty nice future dick
- Posts: 8781
- Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:33 pm UTC
- Location: tinyurl.com/dybqlp
the left and right eye of a smiley.
German Sausage wrote:Is that an EMP in your pants, or are you just outraged by my sexist behaviour?
liza wrote:When life gives you a wife made of salt, make margaritas?
Dance like you're stamping on a human face forever.
- the most metal thing EVER
- Posts: 2370
- Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 2:25 pm UTC
- Location: under a rock
Colons can be used before lists and quotations (e.g. "Mark Twain wrote on the subject:" or similar), and for separating independent clauses (though a semicolon is usually used, a colon is acceptable for effect), and for usage with appositives for emphasis (e.g. "The moral of the story: Always speak the truth!").
Of course we use colons for time notation, subtitles in media, and for certain reference styles (periodicals, Bible verses).
- Posts: 877
- Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:55 am UTC
You may connect two sentences with the colon, while the semicolon can connect two sentence fragments.
Mike liked red apples; Sally liked green.
The BBC is funded from the TV licence: commercial channels are funded from advertising.
li te'o te'a vei pai pi'i ka'o ve'o su'i pa du li no
Mathematician is a function mapping tea onto theorems. Sadly this function is irreversible.
QED is Latin for small empty box.
Ceci nâ€™est pas une [s]pipe[/s] signature.
- Posts: 754
- Joined: Wed Dec 13, 2006 5:22 pm UTC
- Location: Leeds or Bradford, Thessex
Return to Language/Linguistics
Who is online
Users browsing this forum: 4mb119oqw3, 9kp5813w and 11 guests