SEMICOLONS are tired of being ignored and misunderstood. And they're really tired of being confused with colons! In order to be fair, I've agreed to let them speak first.
SEMICOLONS: We work just like periods! How hard is that?
ME: Don't get testy. Tell us more!
SEMICOLONS: We can connect two choppy sentences into one smooth sentence.
ME: Can you show us an example?
SEMICOLONS: We thought you'd never ask.
Two choppy sentences - Mary is happy. She got her first A.
Smoothed into ONE - Mary is happy; she got her first A.
See? That just rolls off the tongue.
ME: I notice two important points:
#1) Don't capitalize the word following the semicolon(unless it's a name), since you've turned two sentences into one.
#2) Semicolons are particularly useful when the two original sentences are related. Can you give us another example?
SEMICOLONS: Watch and learn! And would you please refrain from using colons?!?
Two related sentences - John had to leave the party early. He had to work early the next morning.
Smoothed into ONE - John had to leave the party early; he had to work early the next morning.
ME: Thank you, SEMICOLONS! This has been most illuminating. It seems to me, however, that there's more than one way to connect sentences together. Transition words like because, since, or any of the FANBOYS...
SEMICOLONS: This post belongs to US!! No other punctuation or transition words are allowed!!
(Psst! Up next: COLONS)
Laura Fineberg Cooper