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Encyclopedia > Colon (punctuation)

The colon.. (“:”) is a punctuation mark, consisting of two equally sized dots centered on the same vertical line. Colon may refer to: Colon (anatomy) Colon (punctuation) Colon (rhetoric) Colon classification, a library classification system Colon, Michigan, a village within Colon Township Colon Township, Michigan Carly Colon, a professional wrestler Fred Colon, a Discworld character See also ColÃ³n This is a disambiguation page: a list of articles associated... ColÃ³n may refer to: ColÃ³n (currency) Costa Rican colÃ³n currency of Costa Rica (ISO 4217: CRC) El Salvador colÃ³n currency of El Salvador (ISO 4217: SVC). ... The term punctuation has two different linguistic meanings: in general, the act and the effect of punctuating, i. ...

:

v  d  e

Punctuation The term punctuation has two different linguistic meanings: in general, the act and the effect of punctuating, i. ...

apostrophe ( ' )
brackets ( ), [ ], { }, < >
colon ( : )
comma ( , )
dashes ( , , , )
ellipsis ( , ... )
exclamation mark ( ! )
full stop/period ( . )
guillemets ( « » )
hyphen ( -, )
question mark ( ? )
quotation marks ( ‘ ’, “ ” )
semicolon ( ; )
slash/stroke ( / )
solidus ( )

Interword separation

spaces ( ) ( ) ( )
interpunct ( · )
This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... A space is a punctuation convention for providing interword separation in some scripts, including the Latin, Greek, Cyrillic, and Arabic. ... An interpunct Â· is a small dot used for interword separation in ancient Latin script, being perhaps the first consistent visual representation of word boundaries in written language. ...

General typography

ampersand ( & )
asterisk ( * )
at ( @ )
backslash ( )
bullet ( )
caret ( ^ )
currency ( ¤ ) ¢, \$, , £, ¥, ₩,
dagger/obelisk ( ) ( )
degree ( ° )
inverted exclamation point ( ¡ )
inverted question mark ( ¿ )
number sign ( # )
numero sign ( )
percent and related signs
( %, ‰, )
pilcrow ( )
prime ( )
section sign ( § )
tilde/swung dash ( ~ )
umlaut/diaeresis ( ¨ )
underscore/understrike ( _ )
vertical/pipe/broken bar ( |, ¦ )

Uncommon typography

asterism ( )
index/fist ( )
therefore sign ( )
lozenge ( )
interrobang ( )
irony mark ( ؟ )
reference mark ( )
sarcasm mark (+ +)
A specimen of roman typefaces by William Caslon Typography is the art and techniques of type design, modifying type glyphs, and arranging type. ... In typography, an asterism is a rare symbol consisting of three asterisks placed in a triangle, used to call attention to a passage or to separate sub-chapters in a book. ... The symbol â˜ž is a rare punctuation mark, called an index or fist. ...   In a mathematical proof, the therefore sign is a symbol that is sometimes placed before a logical consequence, such as the conclusion of a syllogism. ... A lozenge (â—Š) is a form of rhombus. ... For other uses, see Interrobang (disambiguation). ... The Irony mark (ØŸ) (French: point dâ€™ironie) is a punctuation mark that purports to indicate that a sentence should be understood at a second level. ... This page lists Japanese typographic symbols which are not included in kana or kanji. ... A sarcasm mark, also called a sarcasm point, helps the reader identify certain messages as being derogatory or ironic. ...

## Contents

### Usage

As with many other punctuation marks, the usage of colon varies among languages and, for a given language, among historical periods. As a rule, however, a colon informs the reader that what follows proves, clarifies, explains, or simply enumerates elements of what is referred to before.

The following classification of the functions that a colon may have, given by Luca Serianni for Italian usage,[1] is generally valid for English and many other languages:

• syntactical-deductive: introduces the logical consequence, or effect, of a fact stated before
• syntactical-descriptive: introduces a description; in particular, explicits the elements of a set
• appositive: introduces a sentence with the role of apposition with respect to the previous one
• segmental: introduces a direct speech, in combination with quotation marks and dashes.

This last was once a common means of indicating an unmarked quotation on the same line (from the Fowlers’ grammar book, The King’s English) Apposition is a figure of speech, in which two elements are placed side by side, with the second element serving to define or modify the first (ex: My wife, a nurse by training. ... Bold text This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Quotation marks or inverted commas (also called quotes and speech marks) are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, a phrase or a word. ... For other uses, see Dash (disambiguation). ...

Benjamin Franklin proclaimed the virtue of frugality: A penny saved is a penny earned.

A colon may also be used for the following:

• introduction of a definition
A: the first letter in the Latin alphabet
Hypernym of a word: a word having a wider meaning than the given one; e.g., vehicle is a hypernym of car
• separation of the chapter and the verse number(s) indication in many references to religious scriptures, and also epic poems; it was also used for chapter numbers in roman numerals
John 3:14–16 (or John iii:14–16) (cf. chapters and verses of the Bible)
The Qur'an, Sura 5:18
• separation when reporting time of the day (cf. ISO 8601)
The concert finished at 23:45
This file was last modified today at 11:15:05
• separation of a title and the corresponding subtitle
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
• separation of clauses in a periodic sentence
• Colons can also be used to designate a list, such as, “He provided all of the ingredients: sugar, flour, eggs and butter.”

• TAYLOR: You know that I have red hair, Chloe. How many more times?
• He is inordinately proud of one article he created: FRESH, UNESCO arose out of his efforts to disambiguate Fresh
• Julian Duguid, author of Green Hell (1931), starts his book boldly: “When a man yields to the urge of Ishmael . . .”
• This theory isn’t as high-falutin’ as it sounds: De Picciotto is just pointing out that, for a tennis player in an important match, it is much easier to shut out an awareness of the plight of the horned owl than to resist the distractions of personal problems. [Peter Bodo, “The Human Side of Steffi Graf,” Tennis, Sept. 1990, p. 46.] [3]
• To err is human: to forgive Divine

FRESH is an acronym for Focusing Resources on Effective School Health, a world-wide UNESCO program for improving the health of school children and youths. ... Look up Fresh in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Divinity (disambiguation) and Divine (disambiguation). ...

### Conventions and non-English languages

In European languages the colon is usually followed by a lowercase letter (again, unless the uppercase is due to other reasons, such as a proper noun). However, usage differs from this in German, where an uppercase letter must not be used only if the sentence before the colon could not stand alone without the sentence following (elsewise one may judge freely according to the relative independency of the two assertions), and in Dutch, where an uppercase letter must be used if the colon is followed by a quotation or an enumeration of complete sentences, although in all other cases a lowercase letter should be used.[4]

No space is put before a colon, except in French.[5]

## History

The colon was established in the English language well before 1700.[2]

## Diacritical usage

A special triangular colon symbol is used in IPA to indicate that the preceding sound is long. Its form is that of two triangles, each a bit larger than a point of a standard colon, pointing toward each other. It is available in Unicode as modifier letter triangular colon, Unicode U+02D0 (ː). A regular colon is often used as a fallback when this character is not available, and in the practical orthography of some languages (particularly in Mexico) which have a phonemic long/short distinction in vowels. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Articles with similar titles include the NATO phonetic alphabet, which has also informally been called the â€œInternational Phonetic Alphabetâ€. For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words, see IPA chart for English. ... In phonetics, length or quantity is a feature of sounds that are distinctively longer than other sounds. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...

In Finnish and Swedish, the colon can appear inside words in a manner similar to the English apostrophe, between a word (or abbreviation, especially an acronym) and its grammatical (mostly genitive) suffixes. It occurs in names, for example Antonia Ax:son Johnson (Ax:son for Axelson). It is done in loanwords and abbreviations; e.g., USA:han for the illative case of "USA". But for loanwords ending orthographically in a consonant but phonetically in a vowel, the apostrophe is used instead: e.g. show'n for the genitive case of the English loan "show". For the prime symbol (â€²) used for feet and inches, see Prime (symbol). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Backronym and Apronym (Discuss) Acronyms and initialisms are abbreviations, such as NATO, laser, and ABC, written as the initial letter or letters of words, and pronounced on the basis of this abbreviated written form. ... A loanword (or loan word) is a word directly taken into one language from another with little or no translation. ... Illative case in the Finno-Ugric languages Illative (from Latin inferre to bring in) is, in the Finnish language, Estonian language and the Hungarian language, the third of the locative cases with the basic meaning of into (the inside of). An example from Hungarian would be a hÃ¡zba (into... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

## Mathematics

The colon is also used in mathematics, cartography, model building and other fields to denote a ratio or a scale, as in 3:1 (pronounced “three to one”). Unicode provides a distinct ratio character, Unicode U+2236 () for mathematical usage. For other meanings of mathematics or uses of math and maths, see Mathematics (disambiguation) and Math (disambiguation). ... Cartography or mapmaking (in Greek chartis = map and graphein = write) is the study and practice of making maps or globes. ... A scale model of the Tower of London. ... A ratio is a quantity that denotes the proportional amount or magnitude of one quantity relative to another. ... The concept of scale is applicable if a system is represented proportionally by another system. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ...

In logic and, correspondingly, when describing the characterizing property of a set, it is used as an alternative to a vertical bar, to mean “such that”. Example: Logic (from Classical Greek Î»ÏŒÎ³Î¿Ï‚ logos; meaning word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle) is the study of the principles and criteria of valid inference and demonstration. ... In mathematics, a set can be thought of as any collection of distinct objects considered as a whole. ... Vertical bar, verti-bar, vertical line, divider line, or pipe is the name of the character (|). Broken bar (Â¦) is a separate character. ...

$S = {x in mathbb{R}colon 1 < x < 3 }$ (S is the set of (all and only) x in $mathbb{R}$ such that x is greater than 1 and smaller than 3)

In many non-Anglophone countries the colon is used as a division sign: “a divided by b” is written as a : b.

The combination with an equal sign, $:=,$, is used for definitions. For other uses, see Definition (disambiguation). ...

## Computing

In computing, the colon character is represented by ASCII code 58, and is located at Unicode code-point U+003A. The full-width (double-byte) equivalent, , is located at Unicode code point U+FF1A. RAM (Random Access Memory) Look up computing in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Image:ASCII fullsvg There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... The Unicode Standard, Version 5. ... The international standard ISO/IEC 10646 defines the Universal Character Set (UCS) as a character encoding. ...

The colon is quite often used as a special control character in many operating systems commands, URLs, computer programming languages, and in the path representation of several file systems. It is often used as a single post-fix delimiter, signifying a token keyword had immediately preceded it or the transition from one mode of character string interpretation to another related mode. Some applications, such as the widely used MediaWiki, utilize the colon as both a pre-fix and post-fix delimiter. In computing, a control character or non-printing character, is a code point (a number) in a character set that does not in itself represent a written symbol. ... A Uniform Resource Locator, URL (spelled out as an acronym, not pronounced as earl), or Web address, is a standardized address name layout for resources (such as documents or images) on the Internet (or elsewhere). ... â€œProgrammingâ€ redirects here. ... A path is the general form of a file or directory name, giving a files name and its unique location in a file system. ... For library and office filing systems, see Library classification. ... Delimiters are marks which are used to seperate subfields of data. ... For the organization that manages Wikipedia and its sister projects, see Wikimedia Foundation. ...

For a double colon see Paamayim Nekudotayim. The Scope Resolution Operator (::) in PHP is officially called Paamayim Nekudotayim, meaning a colon times two in Hebrew. ...

## Internet usage

On the Internet (online chats, email, message boards, etc.) a colon, or multiple colons, is sometimes used to denote an action or emote. In this use it has the inverse function of quotation marks; denoting actions where unmarked text is assumed to be dialog. For example:

Tom: Pluto is so small, it should not be considered a planet. It is tiny!
Mark: Oh really? :Drops Pluto on Tom’s head: Still think it’s small now?

Colons may also be used for sounds. :Click: Compare to the use of the asterisk. An asterisk (*), is a typographical symbol or glyph. ...

It also has the widespread usage of representing two vertically aligned eyes in a emoticon, such as :), :(, :P, :D, :O, etc. Emoticons originated with text representations. ...

## References

1. ^ Serianni, Luca; Castelvecchi, Alberto (1988). Grammatica italiana. Italiano comune e lingua letteraria. Suoni, forme, costrutti (in Italian). Turin: UTET. ISBN 88-02-04154-7.
2. ^ a b Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves, 2003. p. 112. ISBN 1-592-40087-6.
3. ^ Some Examples of Colon Usage
4. ^ Hoofdletter na dubbele punt
5. ^ Lexique des règles typographiques en usage à l'Imprimerie nationale, ISBN 2-7433-0482-0

Results from FactBites:

 Colon (punctuation) - definition of Colon (punctuation) in Encyclopedia (299 words) The colon is also used in mathematics to indicate ratio, and is also the standard sign for division in most non-English-speaking countries. In mathematical logic the colon is often used to represent "such that" in a relational phrase from predicate calculus. A special triangular colon symbol is used in IPA to indicate a preceding long vowel.
 Encyclopedia4U - Colon (punctuation) - Encyclopedia Article (128 words) A colon is a punctuation mark, with one dot above another, like this: ":". Colons are commonly used to introduce lists, or to connect a broad idea with a specific example: two related sentences can be separated by colons instead of periods. In computer programming, the colon corresponds to Unicode and ASCII character 58, or 0x003A.
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