1. Robbo13
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    Robbo13 New Member

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    Colons, Semi-Colons and Dashes

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Robbo13, Nov 23, 2011.

    Hi
    I need help with punctuation!
    Is there a way to remember when to correctly use colons, semi-colons and dashes?
    I never know what to use to make the sentence work!
    Thanks!

    -Josh

    [HR][/HR]

    The two rules of life:

    1) Never tell anyone all your secrets
     
  2. leafmould
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    leafmould Senior Member

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    Yes, there is - you have to study the subject!

    Wiki is a good place to start. Have a look and a think, and then come back here with any questions you might have.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if you're writing fiction, i'd avoid using ;s or :s, as a comma, period, em dash, or conjunction will do a much better job in any instance... that said, in fiction for the uk market, they might be ok, since a more formal style seems to go over better there...

    for non-fiction, as noted above, you do have to study the rules 'n regs... i wouldn't recommend wikipedia, though... google for a good punctuation guide, instead... and keep it in your 'favorites' for handy referencing... this is the one i use:

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/566/01/

    that site is the best reference for all writing issues, imo... here's the main menu:

    http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/

    other excellent ones:

    http://grammar.ccc.commnet.edu/grammar/index2.htm


    http://andromeda.rutgers.edu/~jlynch/Writing/index.html
     
  4. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    I like the purdue one also, but if you are English and unsure of small differences between British and US punctuation, you might prefer to check out the websites for University of Oxford or Reading University, which are good too.
     
  5. architectus
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    architectus Banned

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    Write down correct sentence using those punctuations ten times a day, right before bed, or maybe 20. On top of studying and reading of course.
     
  6. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    punctuation is for wimps don't use it it makes you write like a wuss and follow rules you cant have real freedom if you follow rules fight the power

    :)

    Seriously, just read good writing. Read it ALOUD, paying attention to how good writers use punctuation. If you can read it aloud so that it sounds right, you'll understand what the punctuation is for, and will be able to use it properly yourself.

    And also seriously: We see lots of threads here about how to use punctuation, and they all start looking to me like, "I want to be a musician. Which notes should I play?" The only answer is to play them all, but play them in the right places, and learn to use your own taste to know where the right places are. And you learn that - you develop your taste - by reading good writing.
     
  7. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    punctuation is for wimps don't use it it makes you write like a wuss and follow rules you cant have real freedom if you follow rules fight the power

    :)

    Seriously, just read good writing. Read it ALOUD, paying attention to how good writers use punctuation. If you can read it aloud so that it sounds right, you'll understand what the punctuation is for, and will be able to use it properly yourself.

    And also seriously: We see lots of threads here about how to use punctuation, and they all start looking to me like, "I want to be a musician. Which notes should I play?" The only answer is to play them all, but play them in the right places, and learn to use your own taste to know where the right places are. And you learn that - you develop your taste - by reading good writing.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    amen to that!
     

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