In this sentence, can a colon be used (after "zone") to put emphasis on the two fragments that follow it?

Ex: His room was a chaos zone. Clothes haphazardly tossed across the bed. Books scattered this way and that.

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    Colon surgery is extreme and rarely necessary. Semicolons are easier on the system. – John Lawler May 16 '17 at 18:59

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer: When subsequent sentences (or fragments) explain the first sentence, a colon is correct.

The colon is used to separate two independent clauses when the second explains or illustrates the first. In such usage, the colon functions in much the same way as the semicolon.


On that page, note especially this example:

He made three points: First, the company was losing over a million dollars each month. Second, the stock price was lower than it had ever been. Third, no banks were willing to loan the company any more money.

Hope this helps!


Try this:

His room was a chaos zone, with clothes haphazardly tossed across the bed, books scattered this way and that: it was a mess.

The semicolon can't be used unless it is two independent clauses of equal importance. The colon can be used at the end with the additional fragment to explain what the first part of the sentence structure is about.

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