In honor of National Punctuation Day on September 24, here’s a breakdown of how the punctuation symbols you use every day to make those little smileys when chatting really function in a sentence.
Deconstruction of 🙂 and 😉
: The colon
A colon is used to introduce a list, quotation, explanation and to separate hours and minutes when describing time.
; The Semicolon
A semicolon is used to separate two main clauses in one sentence and items in a list.
Parentheses are used in pairs to separate or interject text within other text. They’re also used in citations.
Next time you’re typing an emoticon, take a minute to consider what those symbols might really mean. And a helpful hint when you write your next essay: a colon should never go next to a parenthesis in formal writing.
What is your favorite emoticon?