Examining the Colon

Today we will examine the colon (and I don’t mean colonoscopy).

The colon ( : ) is used to introduce a list, such as bullet points or a series of equations, or to introduce a quoted statement or additional sentence.

Examples:             (oh, my, there’s one right there!)

The strategy was twofold: 1) infill drilling, and 2) CO2 flooding.

Three people were not invited to the wedding: her aunt, her brother, and her stepfather.

In a press release, the company president stated: “We had our best quarter ever.”

The fact of the matter is this: We cannot increase Opex any more this year.

She had only one weakness: chocolate.

Note that you use a single space after the colon, and if the part of the sentence after the colon is a complete sentence, capitalize the first letter of the first word.

Another use of the colon is in ratios using numbers rather than words. Yesterday we illustrated the latter with “gas/oil ratio.” Today we will illustrate the colon with numbers:

In the 2010 Kentucky Derby, the winner was Super Saver, with odds of 1,200:1.

The contract stipulated that the profits would be split 50:50.