Sunday, 4 June 2017

: | ː

The colon (:) is a punctuation mark used in many ways:

  • to introduce lists (like this one)
  • before a definition
  • before a description
  • to make explicit or expand on something, as exemplified on the following line:
  • in Finnish and Swedish: to indicate possession (playing the role similar to that of the apostrophe in English)
  • before an explanation or an example, as shown on the following line
  • to form contractions, as in Swedish: Thomas Gustafsson can be abbreviated as Thomas G:son
  • before direct speech or quotations. For example, Wikipedia says:
    In British English, it was once common for a colon to be followed by a hyphen or dash to indicate a restful pause, in a typographical construction known as the “dog’s bollocks”, though this usage is now discouraged.
  • to introduce spoken words in written dialogues
  • to separate a title and subtitle of a work when written the same line
  • in American English: in formal letter writing
  • to separate hours:minutes:seconds when written in numbers
  • to separate chapter:verse in Biblical citations
  • in mathematics and elsewhere to indicate a ratio or a scale
  • in a variety of other ways in mathematics
  • in certain O:B:Sc:U:Re ways in chemical nomenclature
  • in many ::wonderful ways:: in C:\omputing
A triangular colon (ː) is used in International Phonetic Alphabet to mark /mɑːk/ the preceding sound as “long”.

More photos of ink and water drops @ Shutterstock.

No comments:

Post a Comment