‘Hello readers today I am going to discuss why comma and semicolon are vital if you are reading this you stumbled on the right post’
I am sure it was quite challenging to read and decode the sentence above simultaneously. A written piece, if it does not have proper punctuation, is a mess. Punctuation Marks are symbols applied to a written work for easy clarification and comprehension.
Punctuation marks are the most vital aspect of any write-up; it is the heartbeat. Once punctuation marks go wrong, it affects your whole piece. In the English Language, we have got 14 recognised punctuation marks; the Semicolon and Comma included.
A comma is one of the most popular types of punctuation marks. It is used to indicate a small break in a sentence and also to separate words. A comma is crucial in any write-up to not give your readers a tough time reading your piece. The negligence of commas in any written work is as though one is a carefree writer. It, therefore, spurs a negative signal that you are less concerned about your readers’ comprehension. More like ‘let them figure it out themselves.’
There are specific ways to use a comma; you don’t just fix it recklessly in your writing. It would be best if you placed commas correctly; else, it could change your sentence or statement’s initial meaning.
- Writers are amazing people! (In this sentence, writers are commended)
- Writers are amazing, people! (In this sentence, someone is trying to say that writers are amazing)
- I love to write at midnight inspirations flow. (In this sentence, you love to write not necessarily at midnight, but you believe that at midnight, inspiration flows.
- I love to write at midnight, inspiration flows. (In this sentence, you write effortlessly well at midnight)
Imagine talking for thirty minutes at a stretch without pausing to take a break. I know this can’t happen because, definitely, you will lose your breath and realistically, you are not a robot. Okay, let’s believe you could talk for thirty minutes straight; how about your listeners? Can they listen to you for that long? They will find it challenging to comprehend your speech. They might give you a serious look as though they are following, but the truth is, they are lost!
Applying a comma at the appropriate place in your writing will make your work very clear and readable. It is also a way to show that you’re a professional and know-how to carry your readers along.
Speaking from an African Experience, many individuals tend to confuse or interchange the semi-colon and colon symbol. Back then in high school, when writing a subhead topic for any subject, our teacher would say at the top of her voice, ‘make sure to add a semicolon hyphen in front of the subhead before proceeding!’ We knew as semicolon hyphen this (:-), we never knew we were writing it the wrong way. The symbol (:) is pronounced as a colon. And so, we were busy writing colon hyphen (:-) and pronouncing it as semicolon hyphen. To this day, I laugh at this memory. You need to know the difference between colon and semi-colon, so you know when to use them.
A Semicolon is the combination of a period stacked at the top and a comma at the bottom. It is a punctuation mark that connects independent clauses in a single sentence. Many writers do not know how to use a comma semi-colon effectively. While a comma is used to separate an introductory phrase, separate independent clauses when connected with conjunctions, or list items, a semi-colon is often used when two independent clauses in a sentence are closely related in thoughts.
Here’s an example of when to use a semicolon:
- Going to school is essential; gaining knowledge is more important.
- I bought a Pen and a Journal; I can’t wait to start writing!
I hope these little tips have enlightened you on Comma and a Semicolon’s importance to enable you to use them effectively in your writing.