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Editorial Styleguide

semicolon

Semicolons may be used to separate the elements of a series when the elements themselves include commas. Do not use semicolons in a series if commas will work. NOTE: Using semicolons in this way does not dictate the use of a colon to introduce the series; conversely, using a colon does not dictate the use of semicolons.

When semicolons are used, include one before the conjunction at the end of the series.

Use a semicolon to connect two closely related sentences, thus avoiding comma splices or run-on sentences: We set some lofty goals when we developed the Challenge for Excellence plan in the latter half of the 1990s; five years later, we’ve already accomplished many of them.


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