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Should there be spaces after a semicolon in a sentence? For example:

"...minimum/standard requirements for a base diploma;there has been..."

or

"...minimum/standard requirements for a base diploma; there has been..."

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Yes. Generally a space is needed after punctuation and before the start of a new word, the exceptions being the beginning of an enclosed pair such as (parentheses) and "quote" marks. Compound word separators such as hyphens - and slashes "and/or" are also exceptions to using a space.

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Should the continuing sentence start with a capital letter, or stay as lowercase? –  JFW Feb 22 '11 at 10:11
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after a semicolon, always use lowercase (unless the first word is ordinarily in uppercase) -- just like you would after a comma –  The English Chicken Feb 22 '11 at 11:15
    
Thanks for the reply. :) Is this same in the case of a dash, as in: "...the upmost importance in this particular subject–it is...". Should there be a space? What about capitalisation of the following sentence after the dash? –  JFW Feb 22 '11 at 14:28
    
My personal opinion is that spaces around a dash (when distinguished from a hyphen) enhance the readability, and I prefer to use them. However, the most commonly accepted form of typography generally avoids use of spaces around a long dash (em-dash or en-dash). –  mgkrebbs Feb 23 '11 at 8:57
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