Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Colons


The above colon (Straits Times, 6 November 2009) is wrong and should be deleted, since colons are not to be used after linking verbs (in this case were).


Colons may be used to introduce main clauses (i.e. clauses that are grammatically complete and can stand on their own), as in the two examples above (Straits Times, 12 November 2009).  But does one use a small or capital letter after the colon?  Interestingly, in North America, the preference is for a capital letter, whereas British English prefers a small letter.  As can be seen from the above, however, Straits Times (and, by extension, Singaporean?) practice is inconsistent.

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