Thursday, 23 August 2007


Today we will discuss the colon. Briefly.

Extremely fond though I am of the semi-colon, I never seem to think to use a colon. George Bernard Shaw, that talented yet irritating man, used them to excess. He probably used up my share, and a lot of other people's.

I am not sure what a colon does that a full stop doesn't do better.

In the whole of Trav Zander, I use one colon. When it is published, there will be a small prize for the first person to locate it.

(Don't all rush at once, you'll trip over the ellipses).


  1. Trav had always been hard worker, that was never an issue. But he had also had a long-standing problem with money. He never had enough of it. He had tried numerous professions in turn: bounty hunter; arms smuggler to would-be rebels; a spectacularly insubordinate and therefore unsuccessful mercenary.

    I have seen colons and I have seen colons. But this one is used to perfection. Elegant, refined and somehow boisterous to boot.

    Actually, I like any colon that doesn't have "oscopy" attached to it.


  2. Boisterous? Perhaps: exuberant, ebullient, yet brash slightly.

    I second Alan's statement. That O'Scopey clan is a mean bunch.

  3. Alan, if you are hoping to steal a march and make off with the small prize: no chance.

    That colon, elegant though it may be, is from YOUR version of my paragraph!

    Be off with you!

  4. Really?


    Is that like salting a mine?

    Or seasoning a ragout?

    This is what I love about corresponding with people who speak a different English. I get to pick up new phrases like "steal a march". That's a good one.

    I shall now endeavor to swipe a January.

    Or purloin a June.

    Perhaps instead I will appropriate an April.

    This is fun. I shall continue on my own and waste no more of your blog space.

  5. Alan, you're teasing me?

    In the unlikely case you're not: (note adroit use of punctuation mark of the day) stealing a march is a military term, where your troops move quickly and unexpectedly to a vantage point. Probably by night.

    What's salting a mine?

  6. To salt a mine is to import easily found and genuine bits of real gold or silver or whatever is selling at a premium at the moment into a mine that is on the market, so that when one takes a prospective buyer on a tour of the shaft, as it were, it appears to the poor sap that this is a mine worth having, and at any cost.

    There you go. We both learned something today.

    I require a nap now. Too bad such things are frowned upon at work.


  7. I aiming for that coveted 1,00th visitor on your blog, Lexi. I understand the prize is a parentheses. Or possibly an ampersand?

    Okay, three more people can click in and then number one thousand is mine!

  8. Ta da!@#$%^&* I'm your 1000th visitor.

    Wow, I love how the confetti and balloons dropped from the ceiling and scantily clad women frolicked about.

    I'm going to sit over here and rest now.

  9. We aim to please.

    Alan, you'll just have to wait to be the 10,000th visitor.

    I'm planning virtual fireworks for that, and just for you, a choir of specially trained dogs barking the Hallelujah Chorus.

    Simple, yet elegant.