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Can someone please help me understand when to use semicolons and other punctuations properly in a sentence...

The following portion is from the opening page of Stephen King's famous novel 'The Shining'. Not only I couldnt understand a single thing about the meaning of the passage but also the punctuations/semicolons used in that part put me in deep trouble understanding whole structure as well after reading it... Semicolons have always been confusing me to this day...🤔🙁

"It was in this apartment, also, that there stood... a gigantic clock of ebony. Its pendulum swung to and fro with a dull, heavy, monotonous clang; and when... the hour was to be stricken, there came from the brazen lungs of the clock a sound which was clear and loud and deep and exceedingly musical, but of so peculiar a note and emphasis that, at each lapse of an hour, the musicians of the orchestra were constrained to pause... to hearken to the sound; and thus the waltzers perforce ceased their evolutions; and there was a brief disconcert of the whole gay company; and; while the chimes of the clock yet rang, it was observed that the giddiest grew pale, and the more aged and sedate passed their hands over their brows as if in confused reverie or meditation. But when the echoes had fully ceased, a light laughter at once pervaded the assembly... and [they] smiled as if at their own nervousness... and made whispering vows, each to the other, that the next chiming of the clock should produce in them no similar emotion; and then, after the lapse of sixty minutes... there came yet another chiming of the clock, and then were the same disconcert and tremulousness and meditation as before"

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Authors/Poets can and do use punctuation differently than you would use in an educational setting. I believe in this instance though Stephen King is using the semicolon to create a list. Commonly we use a comma when creating a list. However, when connecting phrases, you would use a semi-colon to avoid confusion.

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