# Encyclopedia

;

 Word dividers General typography Uncommon typography apostrophe ( ’ ' ) brackets ( [ ], ( ), { }, ⟨ ⟩ ) colon ( : ) comma ( , ) dashes ( ‒, –, —, ― ) ellipses ( …, ... ) exclamation mark ( ! ) full stop/period ( . ) guillemets ( « » ) hyphen ( -, ‐ ) question mark ( ? ) quotation marks ( ‘ ’, “ ” ) semicolon ( ; ) slash/stroke ( / ) solidus ( ⁄ ) spaces ( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) (␠) (␢) (␣) interpunct ( · ) ampersand ( & ) at sign ( @ ) asterisk ( * ) backslash ( \ ) bullet ( • ) caret ( ^ ) copyright symbol ( © ) currency generic: ( ¤ ) specific: ฿, ¢, \$, €, ƒ, ₲, ₴, ₭, £, ₦, ¥, ₩, ₪, ₮, ₧, ₰, ₯, ℳ daggers ( †, ‡ ) degree ( ° ) ditto mark ( 〃 ) inverted exclamation mark ( ¡ ) inverted question mark ( ¿ ) number sign/pound/hash ( # ) numero sign ( № ) ordinal indicator (º, ª) percent (etc.) ( %, ‰, ‱ ) pilcrow ( ¶ ) prime ( ′ ) registered trademark ( ® ) section sign ( § ) service mark ( ℠ ) sound recording copyright symbol ( ℗ ) tilde ( ~ ) trademark ( ™ ) underscore/understrike ( _ ) vertical/broken bar, pipe ( |, ¦ ) asterism ( ⁂ ) falsum ( ⊥ ) index/fist ( ☞ ) therefore sign ( ∴ ) because sign ( ∵ ) interrobang ( ‽ ) irony mark/percontation point ( ؟ ) lozenge ( ◊ ) reference mark ( ※ ) tie ( ⁀ )

.The semicolon ( ; ) is a punctuation mark with several uses.^ In the previous post, Kelly's use of a semicolon was deemed incorrect by several of you.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

.The Italian printer Aldus Manutius the Elder established the practice of using the semicolon mark to separate words of opposed meaning, and to indicate interdependent statements.^ The semicolon is still in the wrong place; it should be used to join two technically separate sentences that also work contiguously, like the particular example included in this sentence.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Posted by: Telanis at October 19, 2009 6:21 AM I think we should use semicolons more often; I mean, they're fancy and awesome.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ My position is that the lack of use of semicolons > does not equate some generic claim of "bad practice".
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

[1] .The earliest, general use of the semicolon in English was in 1591; Ben Jonson was the first notable English writer to use them systematically.^ Posted by: Jeff at October 18, 2009 7:24 PM To be honest, I twitched a little when I first saw the use of the semicolon.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ My position is that the lack of use of semicolons > does not equate some generic claim of "bad practice".
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ My position is that the lack of use of semicolons does not equate some generic claim of "bad practice".
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

.The modern uses of the semicolon relate either to the listing of items, or to the linking of related clauses.^ Also, it can be used to separate items in a list.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Written like that, the fact that semicolons are seldom used is undeniably either the cause or the result of the fact that they're misunderstood.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Use a semicolon to separate clauses when there’s no connecting 'and' or 'but' between them and each could be a sentence in itself.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

## English usage

.Semicolons are followed by a lower case letter, unless that letter is the first letter of a proper noun.^ Finally, start the second sentence with a lower-case letter, and you're THE FANCIEST. .
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

.They have no spaces before them, but one space after (possibly two in a monospace type).^ A fused sentence joins two independent clauses into one sentence with no internal punctuation.  This clause is a complete sentence.  It has one subject (growing) and one verb (takes).
• Sentence Problems 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.meredith.edu [Source type: General]

Applications of the semicolon in English include
• Between closely-related independent clauses not conjoined with a coordinating conjunction
• "I went to the swimming pool; I was told it was closed for routine maintenance."
• "I told Ben he's running for the hills; I wonder if he knew I was joking"
• "A man chooses; a slave obeys."
• Between independent clauses linked with a transitional phrase or a conjunctive adverb
• "I like to eat cows; however, I don't like to be eaten by them."
• Between items in a series or listing containing internal punctuation, especially parenthetic commas, where the semicolons function as serial commas:
• "She saw three men: Donald, who came from New Zealand; John, the milkman's son; and George, a gaunt kind of man."
• "Several fast food restaurants can be found in each of London, England; Paris, France; Dublin, Ireland; and Madrid, Spain."
• "Examples of familiar sequences are: one, two, and three; a, b, and c; and first, second, and third."

## Other languages

### Arabic

Semicolon in Arabic is called Fāṣila Manqūṭa (Arabic: فاصلة منقوطة‎) which means literally "a dotted comma", and is written inverted ( ؛ ). In Arabic, the semicolon has several uses:
• It could be used between two phrases, in which the first phrase causes the second.
Example: "He played much; so, his clothes became dirty". (Arabic: لقد لعب كثيرًا؛ فاتسخت ملابسه.‏‎)
• It could be used in two phrases, where the second is a reason in the first.
Example: "Your sister did not get high marks; because she didn't study sincerely". (Arabic: لم تحقق أختك درجات عالية؛ لأنها لم تتأنَ في دراستها.‏‎)

### Greek and Church Slavonic

In Greek and Church Slavonic, a semicolon indicates a question, similar to a Latin question mark. .To indicate a long pause or separate sections, each with commas (the semicolon's purpose in English), Greek uses an interpunct ( · ) and an ano teleia ( · ).^ Use a semicolon to separate clauses when there’s no connecting 'and' or 'but' between them and each could be a sentence in itself.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Use semicolons to separate items in a series when there’s already a comma in one or more of the items.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ The semicolon is still in the wrong place; it should be used to join two technically separate sentences that also work contiguously, like the particular example included in this sentence.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

Example:
Με συγχωρείτε· πού είναι οι τουαλέτες; (Excuse me; where are the toilets?)

## Computing usage

.In computer programming, the semicolon is often used to separate multiple statements (for example, in Perl, Pascal and SQL).^ The same two sentences, if separated by a period, would have a very different feel: "Semicolons are often misunderstood.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ The implication now is that semicolons are seldom used AND semicolons are often misunderstood.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Use a semicolon to separate clauses when there’s no connecting 'and' or 'but' between them and each could be a sentence in itself.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

In other languages, semicolons are required after every statement (such as in Java, and the C family). .Other languages (for instance, some assembly languages and LISP dialects) use semicolons to mark the beginning of comments.^ My position is that the lack of use of semicolons > does not equate some generic claim of "bad practice".
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

^ My position is that the lack of use of semicolons does not equate some generic claim of "bad practice".
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.ca [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]
• Automatic semicolon insertion ... - comp.lang.javascript | Google Groups 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC groups.google.co.uk [Source type: FILTERED WITH BAYES]

Example C++ code:
```int main(void)
{
int x, y;
x = 1;
y = 2;
std::cout << x << std::endl;
return 0;
}
```
In computer systems, the semicolon is represented by Unicode and ASCII character 59 or 0x3B. The EBCDIC semicolon character is 94 or 0x5E.
.The semicolon is often used to separate elements of a string of text.^ The semicolon is still in the wrong place; it should be used to join two technically separate sentences that also work contiguously, like the particular example included in this sentence.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ The implication now is that semicolons are seldom used AND semicolons are often misunderstood.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Posted by: Telanis at October 19, 2009 6:21 AM I think we should use semicolons more often; I mean, they're fancy and awesome.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

For example, multiple e-mail addresses in the "To" field in some e-mail clients have to be delimited by a semicolon.
.The semicolon is commonly used as parts of emoticons, in order to indicate winking.^ In such a case, you may use a semicolon to replace the terminal comma in each phrase in order to show what elements go together.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

.In Microsoft Excel, the semicolon is used as a list separator, especially in cases where the decimal separator is a comma, such as `0,32; 3,14; 4,50`, instead of `0.32, 3.14, 4.50`.^ Also, it can be used to separate items in a list.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Semicolons are only taught in school in case you run into someone who was pretentious enough to use one.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Use a semicolon to separate clauses when there’s no connecting 'and' or 'but' between them and each could be a sentence in itself.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

.In MATLAB, the semicolon can be used as a row separator when defining a vector or matrix (whereas a comma separates the columns within a row of a vector or matrix) or to execute a command silently, without displaying the resulting output value in the console.^ The semicolon is still in the wrong place; it should be used to join two technically separate sentences that also work contiguously, like the particular example included in this sentence.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Whereas a period separates sentences entirely, a semicolon does it more softly, more briefly.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ To correct this sentence, you can replace the comma with a semicolon, separate the two clauses into two sentences, or subordinate one of the clauses to the other with a subordinating conjunction:  .
• Sentence Problems 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.meredith.edu [Source type: General]

.In HTML, a semicolon is used to terminate a character entity reference, either named or numeric.^ Written like that, the fact that semicolons are seldom used is undeniably either the cause or the result of the fact that they're misunderstood.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ In such a case, you may use a semicolon to replace the terminal comma in each phrase in order to show what elements go together.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Whatever's on either side of a semicolon has to work on its own as a complete sentence - and that doesn't guarantee a GOOD use of the semicolon, just that it's punctuatatively correct.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

## Mathematics

.In the argument list of a mathematical function $f(x_1, x_2, \dots; a_1, a_2, \dots)$, a semicolon may be used to separate variables and parameters.^ Also, it can be used to separate items in a list.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ Use a semicolon to separate clauses when there’s no connecting 'and' or 'but' between them and each could be a sentence in itself.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

^ The semicolon is still in the wrong place; it should be used to join two technically separate sentences that also work contiguously, like the particular example included in this sentence.
• The Sneeze - Half zine. Half blog. Half not good with fractions. 31 January 2010 14:014 UTC www.thesneeze.com [Source type: General]

In differential geometry, a semicolon preceding an index is used to indicate the covariant derivative of a function with respect to the coordinate associated with that index.

## References

1. ^ Truss, Lynne (2003). Eats, Shoots & Leaves. p. 77. ISBN 1-592-40087-6.
• Hacker, Diana (2002). The Bedford Handbook (6th ed. ed.). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's. ISBN 0-312-41281-9.

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# Citable sentences

Up to date as of December 28, 2010

Here are sentences from other pages on Semicolon, which are similar to those in the above article.