Recently I have not been able to get away from the semicolon. It seems that every other sentence that I read now contains one. I don’t know if this is because I suddenly have become more aware of them, or because more people are using them. Either way, I find their excessive use distracting.
There are three “official” uses for semicolons in English.
The first use is with related independent clauses. This should be used when two short clauses, that could each be their own sentence, are pushed together because they are on the same topic. You could say, “I took my daughter to the park today; too bad it was closed.”
The second use is with related clauses that are linked with a conjunction or transitional phrase. You could say, “We went to the park today; however, we were unable to play, because it was closed.
The third use is in a long and complicated list. You could say, “The following people came with me to the park: my daughter Rosie, who is eight; her friend Ava, who never washes; Ava’s mother Candy, the exotic dancer; and our dog Snips.”