Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Colons: What to do with them

I've always been fond of colons.  I'm not talking about those internal organs (although I suppose they have their place in my life), but those lovely little two dots of punctuation.

They seem so elegant, so refined: they help define things.  Typically, you have the first part of the sentence, then the colon, and then you can list the particulars, or give an appostive, or amplification, or an illustrative quotation.

Here's a little example:
I peeked into his grocery cart to see his treasures: gourmet chocolates, a bottle of Prosecco, and strawberries. 

A nice little list, right?  But here's where I really like the colon - or the reverse colon, as I call it in my head.

Gourmet chocolates, a bottle of Prosecco, strawberries: just what did he have in mind for tonight?

I just love how that sentence reads. (And not just because I'm fond of those items.)

So how about it, authors: do you feel the love for the colon?

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