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# The Colon

The colon (:) is a punctuation mark consisting of two equally sized dots centered on the same vertical line.
by

## Mohammed Tantoush

on 24 May 2010

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#### Transcript of The Colon

Rule 1 A colon tells the reader that what follows is closely related to the proceeding clause.
History The English word colon comes from the Latin word colon (plural cola), which derives from the Greek word meaning κλον "limb, member, portion".

Mathematics and Logic The colon is used in mathematics, cartography, model building and other fields to denote a ratio or a scale, as in 3:1 (pronounced “three to one”).

The notation ƒ: X -> Y indicates that ƒ is a function with domain X and codomain Y. Computing
The colon is quite often used as a special control character in URLs, computer programming languages, and in many operating system commands.
Several programming languages use the colon for various purposes.
On the Internet, a colon, is sometimes used to denote an action or to emote. In this use, it has the inverse function of quotation marks, denoting actions where unmarked text is assumed to be dialogue. 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.
Internet Usage FUN STUFF Use of the : symbol to mark the discontinuity of a grammatical construction, or a pause of a length intermediate between that of a semicolon and that of a period, was introduced in English orthography around 1600. Playwright Ben Jonson even signed his name Ben : Jonson. Join two independent clauses with a colon if the second interprets or amplifies the first. It usually follows an independent clause. and more formality than a dash. less power than a semi colon, A colon has more effect than a comma, Your dedicated whittler requires three props: a knife, a piece of wood, and a back porch. Right Way: Wrong Way: Your dedicated whittler requires: a knife, a piece of wood, and a back porch. The colon was originally used as a mark for oral speakers. The mark indicated that a speaker should pause for two beats. But even so, there was a directness and dispatch about animal burial: there was no stopover in the undertaker's foul parlor, no wreath or spray. A colon shouldn't seperate a verb from its complement or a preposition from its object. The colon also follows the salutation of a formal letter. Dear Mr. Smith: To Whom It May Concern: Examples A colon may introduce a quotation that supports or contributes to the preceeding clause. The squalor of the streets reminded her of a line from Oscar Wilde: "We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars." Example Rule 2 Example Example Rule 3 Rule 4 Rule 5 Colons may also be used for sounds, eg. ::Click::, though sounds can also be denoted by an asterisk or other punctuation marks.

Colons are also used to represent two vertically aligned eyes in some emoticons, particularly in Western (English-speaking) cultures. Examples:

:)

:\

:3

D:

:D

:O

:x

:P

:E
S = \{x \in \mathbb{R} : 1 < x < 3 \} (S is the set of all x in \mathbb{R} (the real numbers) such that x is strictly greater than 1 and strictly smaller than 3) Example
In mathematical logic, when using set-builder notation for describing the characterizing property of a set, it is used as an alternative to a vertical bar, to mean “such that”. Emoticons The Colon
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