As the abandonment of periodic arrangement really makes the colon useless, it would be well (though of course any one who still writes in formal periods should retain his rights over it) if ordinary writers would give it up altogether except in special uses, independent of its quantitative value, to which it is being more and more applied by common consent.
—The King’s English, p. 271f.
I am momentarily obsessed with colons: they displease me – especially when used where a semicolon would suffice.
Perhaps the first sentence gave you pause. You would prefer it if I capitalized the first letter after the colon? You would not be alone. What’s that to me? I have no style. Other people have it in abundance, though, and are now serving colons in every third sentence.1
I was going to pun on prose having guts and bowels and things, but I have, out of consideration for your delicate sensibilities, decided not to do so.
- Don’t mistake me, TMFTML’s colon usage is quite correct; but I ask you: is it really necessary? [↩]