The colon is no doubt one of the crucial clearly-defined punctuation marks. It typically acts as a stand-in for a comma or interval (though when actually one among these totally different punctuation marks will do, the colon is pointless).
Principally, the colon options as an introductory punctuation mark, notifying the reader that the forthcoming information helps, explains, or elaborates upon what has been talked about earlier to the colon.
These punctuation marks are frequent in math and science along with technical documentation. In ingenious writing, we don’t see a wide range of colons till we’re engaged on a script. Colons are most regularly seen in textual content material the place a list is being launched.
The Chicago Information of Sort gives a succinct definition for the colon:
“A colon introduces a part or sequence of elements illustrating or amplifying what has preceded the colon. Between neutral clauses it options similar to a semicolon, though additional strongly emphasizing sequence. The colon is also used instead of a interval to introduce a sequence of related sentences.” (Chicago Information of Sort, fifteenth Model p. 257)
On this text, we’ll uncover the commonest colon capabilities for writers. The information proper right here simply isn’t definitive as full safety of colons would characterize a quick e-book moderately than a single weblog publish, nevertheless I’ll attempt to reply in all probability essentially the most elementary questions on using the colon in your writing.
Punctuation Marks: The Colon
Most likely essentially the most tough factors regarding colon utilization is whether or not or not or not the phrase following a colon have to be capitalized. Often, it’s not capitalized till that phrase is an accurate noun. Nonetheless, there are exceptions: (as soon as extra, see what I did there?)
- When a colon introduces a number of sentence, the first phrase following the colon have to be capitalized.
- When a colon introduces dialogue, the first phrase following the colon have to be capitalized.
- When a colon introduces a quote, the first phrase following the colon have to be capitalized.
We most incessantly see the colon used to introduce a list. In cases like this, the textual content material earlier the colon is best formatted as a complete sentence. This, nonetheless, have to be checked in opposition to the related sort data.
We’re going to: focus on colons. (not the favored format)
We’re going to do the following: focus on colons. (Observe that the textual content material sooner than the colon varieties a complete sentence)
Colon Classifications and Examples
Beneath are a list of colon programs along with examples to show each kind of colon in movement.
Appositive colons introduce sentences which might be in apposition to the sentence earlier the colon: The colon was not wanted: I deleted it.
Segmental colons introduce dialogue and are used with totally different punctuation marks, along with quotation marks: My ingenious writing coach was explicit in her lecture on colons: “Solely use them when wanted.”
Syntactical-deductive colons introduce a logical consequence: The sentence ended with a colon: additional textual content material was sure to adjust to.
Syntactical-descriptive colons introduce a top level view (typically a top level view set): The colon is analogous in look to 2 totally different punctuation marks: the semicolon and the interval.
Colons with Dialogue
The colon is usually used to introduce speech in a dialogue (equal to a script). Proper right here is an occasion:
Coach: Why did you utilize a colon proper right here?
Scholar: I believed it regarded good.
Observe that inside the script assemble, the quotation marks are absent. In case you’re writing a play, screenplay, teleplay, or each different type of script, you must look at with an industry-specific sort data to just be sure you’re making use of right formatting. That options colon utilization along with quotation marks!
Using Punctuation Marks in Submissions
In an article titled “Formatting Your Manuscript – The Silent Scream,” Lynn Value, the editorial director for Behler Publications, gives a clear tip for writers who’re considering punctuating with a colon. I’ll depart you collectively along with her advice:
Be careful collectively together with your use of colons. They’ve a clinic-y actually really feel to them, they often can merely take the softness and poetic style out of your writing. Think about using a comma or semi-colon instead. For many who don’t, chances are your editor will.