A MarketingExpert of XX – She Has Never Set Limitation for Her Own Career
The colon is used to indicate that whatfollows it is an explanation or elaboration of what precedes it. That is,having introduced some topic in more general terms, you can use a colon and goon to explain that same topic in more specific terms. Schematically:
More general: more specific
Africa is facing a terrifying problem:perpetual drought.
[Explains what the problem is.]
The situation is clear: if you haveunprotected sex with a stranger, you risk AIDS.
[Explains what the clear situation is.]
She was sure of one thing: she was notgoing to be a housewife.
[Identifies the one thing she was sureof.]
Mae West had one golden rule forhandling men: "Tell the pretty ones they're smart and tell the smart onesthey're pretty."
[Explicates the golden rule.]
Several friends have provided me withinspiration: Tim, Ian and, above all, Larry.
[Identifies the friends in question.]
We found the place easily: yourdirections were perfect.
[Explains why we found it easily.]
I propose the creation of a new post:School Executive Officer.
[Identifies the post in question.]
The colon has a few minor uses. First,when you cite the name of a book which has both a title and a subtitle, youshould separate the two with a colon:
I recommend Chinnery's book OakFurniture: the British Tradition.
Youshould do this even though no colon may appear on the cover or the title pageof the book itself.
Second, the colon is used in citingpassages from the Bible:
The story of Menahem is found in IIKings 15:14–22.
Observe that, exceptionally, the colonis not followed by a white space in Biblical references.
Third, the colon may be used in writingratios:
Among students of French, womenoutnumber men by more than 4:1.
In formal writing, however, it isusually preferable to write out ratios in words:
Among students of French, women outnumbermen by more than four to one.