Originally Posted by matadorpoeta
i often use semi colons, though I don't really know the rules that pertain to them. i just go with my gut. everytime i use one in microsoft word, the spell checker says, "use of semi colon. consider revising." as though there were never a right time to use one.
Originally Posted by Tokyo Slim
Spell checker is retarded; Semicolons are awesome.
The semi-colon is often used to join together two independent clauses -- in other words, it joins two clauses that could be sentences. For example: "matadorpoeta
drives an Aston-Martin; however, Tokyo Slim
drives a Bentley."
These two clauses could be separate sentences: "matadorpoeta
drives an Aston-Martin. Tokyo Slim
drives a Bentley." However, when you use a semi-colon, you are generally suggesting that there is a relationship between the sentences, but you are not making that relationship clear.
Usually, you can tell from the context what the relationship is. In the example above, the relationship is probably contrast; you could also use "but" to make this clear: "matadorpoeta
drives an Aston-Martin, but Tokyo Slim
drives a Bentley." When you use a semi-colon, it is often because you want to make the reader think about the relationship. This is useful in many situations, such as when writing cautiously, ironically, or humorously.