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Semicolons! - Page Text Content

S: Semicolons!

BC: Hopefully this guide was able to give you a better understanding of semicolons and when they should be used. Don't be afraid to experiment with it though, that is how we got to use this wonderful and unique mark today.

FC: Semicolons! A complete guide

1: First introduced by Venitian printer Aldus Manutius, over time the semicolon has served a variety of purposes, including abbreviations, questions, and even the termination of psalms. However, it has a very particular use today,. In the following pages we'll learn when, and when not to use our helpful friend.

2: Rules | 1. The semicolon can be inserted in place of a period between two independent clauses. I like icecream; it makes me happy. 2. It can be used between elements of equal rank that would normally require a comma. (Like a super comma) Sally won a blue ribbon; Susan finished second; Tommy was last. | Never use a semiclon with a conjunction!

3: 3. Placed between independent clauses separated by a conjunctive adverb She was tired; nevertheless, she continued to work diligently. 4. Precedes words like "for example, for instance, as in, etc. There are other ways to kill time rather than watching TV; for example, reading a book, riding a bike, etc.

4: On a full page ad: ''Break the spell, communicate globally'' " Newspaper headlines: ''Man drowns, alcohol is to blame'' ''Apartment complex burns, police say cigarettes are to blame'' WIthout a semicolon, all three sentences would be categorized as a run on because they include two independent clauses and are do not contain a conjunction. This is called a COMMA SPLICE

5: If corrected, the sentences should look more like this: Break the spell; communicate globally. Man drowns; alcohol is to blame. OR instead of using a semicolon, a period could be used to separate the sentence. Apartment complex burns. Police say cigarettes are to blame. - However, the semicolon depicts a relationship between the two statements, making it ideal.

6: ; | The studies compared invasive procedures including angioplasy, in which a surgeion mechanicallywidens a blocked blood esses; stenting, or propping open a vessel, and bypass surgery, grafting a neew blood vessel. This is another example of using semicolons to list or compare things of equal importance. | The studies compared invasive procedures including angioplasty, in which a surgeon widens a blocked vessel; stenting, or propping open a vessel; and bypass surgery, grafting a new blood vessel. Here the semicolons are used to separate or list things of equal rank.

7: Some more examples of Semicolon usage. (Newsweek magazine) | ''Obama had a chancc to let the expire in 2010; he blew it.'' Here it is used as a soft period to show a relationship between the two clauses. | ''They have cost the U.S. $3 trillion; the stimulus, by contrast, cost $1 trillion.'' The semicolon is used here to separate elements of a sentence in equal rank.

8: He met and married graduate student Julea Posey; and they settled in Malibu. This semiclon should be replaced with a comma. I'm less needy for outside validation than I once was, I don't need the man I'm with to be a certain way to impress my friends. Instead of a comma after the 'was', there should be a semicolon to join the two clauses.

9: The goofiness of this excuse isn't what riled Nadal; it ws that Agassi's confession brought the game into disrepute. correct | His mother, Marilyn, a gifted singer, was tending to the beef patties and gravy; his father, Richard, one of the state's most prominent Baptist ministers, was watching Monday Night Football.

10: Lemme be your manager, I'll get you on the doddam radio. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger This comma shoudl either be replaced by a semicolon or a period. | ;( | American brands are reinventing themselves to strike it rich in the far east, from Playboy haute couture to the Colonel's fried chicken, they have stepped it up. That comma should be a semicolon!!

11: ...first, the sort of moral impulse that Aron salutes in Mihail Gorbachev and the leading dissidents; second, an intolerant adn fanatical moralism; third, the desire to overcome humiliation. | A rule of law mission began in 2005 in Iraq; a police mission has been in Afghanistan since 2007. | ;)

12: Correct | 1. | In any case, those who think it is trivial that Mr. Clinton lied about a mere affair are missing the point; it is precisely his impoerous need of the female that has unnerved a lot of men..... - shows a relationship between two intependent clauses Well, he's lookin' wild, y'know, an' I can see dat he's had plenty, but he's still holdin' it; he talks good an' is walkin' straight enough. While it is true that this sentence has deplorable spelling, the use of the semicolon is correct. Mrs. Teep is quite the most irritating bridge-player that I have ever sat down with; her leads and declarations would condone a ertin amount of brutlity in her partner. correct

13: Incorrect | The writer lumps everyone who is against the mosque into one category; bigot. I think the confusion here is between the semicolon and the colon. This should be a colon as semicolons connect independent clauses, which ''bigot'' is not. I see a number of people lying on the floor, at least four or five, I cannot see if they are dead. Semicolon, semicolon, semicolon. Please no more comma splices

14: It may be useful to reiterate the AP in noting that the semicolon is to the comma as the colon is to the period; both the colon and the period signal "stop," whereas the semicolon and the comma say, "More to come." | on | Semicolons on

15: An unlikely row has erupted in France over suggestions that the semicolon's days are numbered; worse, the growing influence of English is apparently to blame | Semicolons

16: A dedication to.... Jane Austen He was shy, and disposed to abstraction; but the engaging mildness of her countenance, and gentleness of her manners, soon had their effect; and Anne was well repaid the first trouble of exertion. Persuasion Elizabeth jumped out; and, after giving each of them a hasty kiss, hurried into the vestibule... Pride and Predjudice I admire all that quaint, old-fashioned politeness, it is much more to my taste than modern ease; modern ease often disgusts me. Emma Catherine knew all this very well; her great-aunt had read her a lecture on the subject only the Christmas before; and yet she lay awake ten minutes on WEdnesday night debating.... Northanger Abbey In many cases, Austen puts conjunctions after semicolons, an action that is condemned today.

17: Here are some examples of classics. Notice how they had different uses for the semicolon that would be considered incorrect today. This is just to show how punctuation evolves over time. | ''They have abducted her,'' added the commissary; ''and do you know the man who has committed this deed?'' The Three Musketeers, Alexandre Dumas Today this would be considered incorrect, as commas are used before quotes, not semicolons. | Not that a gentleman like you, so well set up as you, can't win 'em off his own game; but money shall back you. ''I wouldn't go into that,'' said Wemmick evasively; ''it might clash with official responsibilities. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens Again, in the first example a conjunction is placed after the semicolon, and in the second example it is used before a quote.

18: States are closing parks permanently in response to budget deficits. States that previously didn't charge for entry to state parks now are. Again, these two sentences are related. The best way to show this relationship is with -- you guessed it -- a semicolon | If people want something, they'll pay for it. If they don't, they won't. A semicolon would have worked perfectly here instead of a period. | Advancing a common intermediate to several natural products isnot new, and the researchers' engames ere based on previously established procedures. This writer could have replaced the comma and 'and' with a semicolon. | Arch has 23 primary manufacturing and research facilities around the world and employs about 3,000 people. Lonza operates six antimicrobials production locations with a workforce of 550. A semicolon would indicate a relationship between the clauses.

19: The more I read about how lttle writers use semicolons anymore, the more I look for situations where it could have been used but was replaced with a period of comma. Here are some esamples from C&EN magazine. | If sampes failed, the associated fishing areas were kept closed. Seafood samples that passed were then subject to chemical analysis. This period could just as easily be a semicolon. | EPA's assessments, which take years or even decades to complete, have come under attack from industry. For instance, chemical manufacturers have complained... Semicolons are often used before phrases like 'for instance'.

21: Here is a list of all of the sources I used: August Issue of Newsweek -''The World that can Sace Your Life'', SHaron Begley -''In Cold Blood II'', Lois Romano -''Rafa'', Michael Mewshaw -''Oval Office Appeaser'', William Broyles Foreign Policymagazine -''Moral Revolutions'' - ''CSDP Crisis Management at Work: Three continents, 24 Operations, and Counting'' - ''Letter from the Editor'' The ads and incorrect titles were from The New York Times, the Guardian, and CNN news -''Has Modern Life Killed the Semicolons?'', Paul Collins -''The End of the Line?'', John Henley Books and Short Stories -Pride and Predjudice, Northanger Abbey, Emma, Persuasion, Jane Austen -The Three Musketeers, Alexander Dumas -Great Expectations, Charles Dickens -''The Standard of LIving'', Dorothy Parker -''The Lottery'', Shirly Jackson -''Graven Image'', John O'Hara

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  • By: Alev E.
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  • Title: Semicolons!
  • A complete guide to learning when and when not to use the semicolon.
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  • Started: about 5 years ago
  • Updated: about 5 years ago

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