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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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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.