In many ways, the colon is one of the most valuable pieces of punctuation that exists. Its main (and perhaps most useful) function is to introduce a piece of information that sheds light on a statement made in the first part of a sentence. When used for this purpose it can stand for whole phrases such as by which I mean or let me clarify what I’ve just said. As a result, it is capable of turning many a lengthy and awkward sentence into something elegant and succinct. It is also (you’ll be pleased to hear) incredibly easy to master.
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