use of semi-colon, colon


When writing a sentence with 16 different federal agencies, what is the proper use of the semi-colon, colon?

See example:

The 16 agencies that make up the DHS are the Directorate for National Protection and Programs (NPPD): Science and Technology Directorate, Directorate for Management, Office of Policy, Office of Health Affairs, Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A;), Office of Operations Coordination and Planning, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, Transportation Security Administration (TSA), United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP), United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), United States Coast Guard, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the United States Secret Service (USSS) (U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 2008).
asked Apr 21 '13 at 18:13 Glenn Taylor New member

1 answer


As constructed, your sentence has no place for (or need for) either a semicolon or colon. The colon you presently show between NPPD and Science should be replaced by a comma.


You could rewrite the sentence to utilize a colon. One use of the colon is to introduce lists. Place the colon after "DHS are" and delete 'the" (for parallel structure in the list).


You should note that all of the "Office of" and "Directorate of" are NOT separate agencies. They are merely subdivision within DHS. The Coast Guard, ICE, TSA, etc. are separate agencies under the DHS umbrella, but they too hoave offices and directorates in their org charts.


I hope this helps.

link comment edited Apr 22 '13 at 04:36 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow

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