Among the most misunderstood of punctuation marks is semicolons. That the mark serves as a stand-in for a wink when texting probably is appropriate!
For the record, there are two instances when the semicolon should be used.
One case in when a closely-related second sentence, to make any sense, needs to be connected to the one prior to it. If the second sentence is just a phrase, however, connect it with a comma.
RIGHT: The ship shuddered as the alien’s antimatter salvo struck it; many of the crew wondered if they’d survive the expedition.
RIGHT: The ship shuddered as the alien’s antimatter salvo struck it, causing many of the crew to wonder if they’d survive the expedition.
WRONG: The ship shuddered as the alien’s antimatter salvo struck it; causing many of the crew to wonder if they’d survive the expedition.
A second case is to separate phrases in a series that is set off with a colon (when the eyes in your text aren’t winking, you’re using a colon!).
RIGHT: Among Yellowstone National Park’s highlights are: multiple geysers that regularly erupt; large wildlife such as bison, bears, elk herds, and wolves; and dozens of high waterfalls.
WRONG: Among Yellowstone National Park’s highlights are geysers; large wildlife; and high waterfalls.
My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.