Colons. Say What?
According to Jeff Anderson in Everyday Editing, colons:
-can introduce lists. (ahhhh)
-colons emphasize to the reader that something important will follow.
-A colon can also introduce a complete sentence.
Don’t confuse the semicolon with the colon. The semicolon is used to join separate sentences we want to join without a coordinating conjunction.
Examples from Anderson.
Reluctantly, one by one, Hugo pulled out dozens of objects: screws and nails and bits of metal, gears and crumpled playing cards, tiny pieces of clockworks, cogs, and wheels. -Brian Selznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Before I do anything else, I need to go back over everything that has happened this summer: the Big Mistake, the old man, the book, the lamp, the telescope, and this box, which started it all. -Wendy Mass, Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life
The deputy told me to empty my pockets: two quarters, a penny, a stick of bubble gum, and a roll of grip tape for my skateboard. -Carl Hiaasen, Flush
A dash can do the same job as a colon. You can use a dash whenever you please, there are not the same rules that surround the colon.
Tune in tomorrow for some exercises surrounding the colon.