The Misunderstood Semicolon: Stop or Pause? Joined or Not?

Ann Baker is the manager of EDP (Editorial, Design, and Production) and it has taken her more than twenty years of professional copyediting to overcome her own personal fear of the semi-colon. Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary defines the semicolon as “a punctuation mark used chiefly in a coordinating function between major sentence elements (as independent clauses of a compound sentence).” The Copyeditor’s Handbook  explains that sometimes a semicolon serves as a “weak period” that joins independent clauses more closely together than a period would, and at other times it functions as a “strong comma” that separates syntactical elements more definitively than … Continue reading The Misunderstood Semicolon: Stop or Pause? Joined or Not?