Colon (:) Copyediting Blog
By Evan Papamichael
Manuscript Master Evan
Source: Macquarie Dictionary: Australia’s National Dictionary, 5th Edition., Macquarie Dictionary Publishers Pty Ltd, Sydney, Australia, 2009, p. 341
Colon – Definition - "a point of punctuation (:) marking off a main portion of a sentence (intermediate in force between the semicolon and the period)."
Source: Handbook for Writers and Editors: grammar, usage and punctuation, McKenzie, Margaret, 2005, Dundas Press, Blackburn South, Australia, pp. 165-166
The colon (:) precedes extra information and distinguishes unbalanced sections of a sentence.
Methods of usage
To specify a quote
Hamlet states: “To be or not to be”
To point out a list
He prefers: athletics, football, rugby, tennis and soccer; as, a means to keep fit.
To specify a word, clause or phrase that explains the prior main clause.
The exam was difficult: many students failed; and, they were ill-prepared.
To distinguish numbers in Biblical citations and ratios; and, to differentiate title from subtitle in a book.
Luke: 8: 10
Height of 1:6 metres
The Slave Community: Plantation Life in the Antebellum South.
To begin or continue dialogue in a script.
Professor: The thesis is as follows. Theory followed by practice.
Scholar: Very straightforward; but, what is the end result?