Learn English – Full stop, double stop, period and colon


At different times I see "full stop" used online. Does this just mean a period, or is it something more or less? I would assume it refers to a period specifically at the end of a sentence, but does it mean more than that?

In the King James Version of the Bible, the colon is often used as what appears to be a "double stop". It seems to break apart groups of sentences. Other times it seems to be used as the period version of a semi-colon, almost connecting the two sentences. How is it actually used? Is there such a thing as a "Double Stop" or is it just called a colon? I know colons are supposed to be only used for lists, but are there other ways they can be used as well?

Best Answer

There is a specialist, conventional use of the colon in the Bible (not just KJV) in rendering the psalms into English. Here the colon separates the two halves of the Hebrew verse:

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul : he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Normally it's written with a space on both sides, to make clear that it's a division rather than a normal colon.