Mixing up your semicolons and colons… This post should help.
Punctuation marks are like road signs for readers. They guide the eye, signaling whether one needs to stop (a period), pause (a comma), watch for a shift in focus (an em-dash), notice a connection (hyphens and en-dashes), and more.
For whatever reason, people seem to have more trouble with the semicolon and colons than the others.
Not necessarily with where to place them (that’s a comma problem, always, and it’s job security for us copyeditors), but when to use them at all.
Today, I’m hoping to shed light on the mysteries of these two marks.