Ready for the coding that joins thoughts and ideas? Used sparingly, these symbols can help you engage the emotions of your potential customers
A colon is code for ‘here’s what I mean’. You can use them to introduce a list, or at the beginning of reported speech. She said: ‘I’m getting thirsty.’
A semi-colon is subtle; it is code for ‘pause, and think’. It’s a full stop sitting on a comma, with a longer pause but not quite a stop.
(I’m watching my word count but you can find a full explanation of both, and some useful tests here).
Don’t be intimidated
Don’t feel you have to use them; these bits of codes can be a challenge to get right. Online, it can be better to use full stops to create short and clear sentences instead.
But don’t be intimidated by them either; remember they’ve added clarity, drama and emphasis to everything you read.
Brackets (add a bit of useful information that isn’t essential to the meaning) or [explain something in the text].
Dashes are a handy, informal substitute – though avoid overdoing them – for semi-colons and brackets.
Let’s not forget the question mark, which I nearly did. ‘Where’s the Malbec?’
Step 3: why the apostrophe is your friend