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Blog Posted in avatar   Gar Swaffar's Blog

Use, your colon.

By Gar Swaffar
Posted May 24, 2012 in Internet
Use, your colon or Use your colon. same words and different meanings. How can that be? the answer is simple - one has a comma, and the other doesn't.
The Age of the Internet has caused an enormous mass of communication to occur, and that is undoubtedly a benefit to mankind as a whole and specific individuals also.
The internet communications however, have also shown a general lack of understanding by the typical writer about the specific use of punctuation to express coherent thought processes. Processes which are meant to be understood by other people with no other explanation than what is written.
To say it doesn't always go well is an understatement in my opinion. The title of this blog is a case in point. The use of the lowly comma adds meaning to the three words written.
The comma denotes what would be a pause in speech, and if you pause when you're talking to a friend, they understand the next statement may have a different context than the first part of the sentence you spoke. A semi-colon serves much the same purpose as does, in a more formal style, the colon.
Note the use of commas in the last sentence. I moved from a simple declarative statement;
"A semi-colon serves much the same purpose as does" to an explanatory statement;
"in a more formal style"
And then back to the declarative train of thought; "the colon"
All three portions were used to make a statement, but if were speaking the sentence there would have been a nearly unmeasurable pause in two areas of the spoken sentence structure.
In the title "Use, your colon"
Use may be seen as a noun, which would be: 'The act of employing'
Then a pause (the comma) and then 'your colon.'
The contextual meaning then might be seen as the use (yoos) of your colon in either writing or some sort of biological meaning. (posed as a question)
I'll stick to the language usage in this post.
If instead the title had been "Use your colon" it would not be (yoos) but instead Use (yooz) your colon.
Again, I'll just stick to the language issue here.
The difference is immense and helps to guide the readers of our articles toward a comprehension of the ideas of opinions we're attempting to convey.
I have noted some lack here at DJ in the ability to punctuate, including myself I admit freely, but even more so, in what should be the "Professional Press" MSNBC being one of the worst offenders, CNN probably next, and Fox is simply horrible on occasion, along with nearly every other online news source.
The one bright spot, if any, would be the news in print form, it remains far less likely to have punctuation out of place or simply lacking altogether.

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