The comma with a dot on top is a long pause or a short stop, which isn’t of much use anymore.
- Scrap the Old Style.
The old practice of using a semicolon instead of a conjunction to link closely related clauses isn’t understood by many of today’s readers. Use either a period for a complete stop or a dash for a long pause.
- Know the Few Important Uses.
A semicolon separates list items that include commas.
- On her tour, she stopped at Wichita, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; and Louisville, Kentucky.
Since the comma separates verses of the Bible, a semicolon separates chapters.
- Jesus talks about faith in Matthew 8:10, 26; 14:31; Luke 8:25; and 12:28.
- Next to Quotation Marks.
Unlike periods and commas, which always go inside, the semicolon always goes outside the quotation marks.
Example: After so many books, I didn’t need to read “How to Write”; I just needed to write.