A Rough Guide to SemicolonsIt is a simple symbol. Some say deceptively so. Incorrectly used, it is the scourge of prose and the ravager of innocent sentences. Amongst all the punctuation marks of the English language, it is perhaps the most abused of all. Many writers fear to touch it at all. It is, the semicolon.A Rough Guide to Semicolons3 years ago in Writing More Like This
But all this doom, gloom and terror is, in fact, quite unnecessary. The semicolon has just two major uses, both of which are quite easy to identify. Let's have a look at them.
1. To Connect Two Independent Clauses
For those who aren't sure, a clause is a series of words that could stand alone as a complete sentence. Clauses are often connected together with conjunctions such as "and" or "but".
Nine friends set out from Rivendell, but only two hobbits reached Mordor.
This could just as correctly be two sentences.
Nine friends set out from Rivendell. Only two hobbits reached Mordor.
But we could also lose the word "but" and still connect these short sentences t