43 semicolon The semicolon can replace such conjunctions as and, but, or for to link independent clauses. • The package was due last week; it arrived today. Semicolons can add clarity to a series that contains internal commas. • He leaves a son, John Smith of Chicago; two daughters, Jane Smith of Wichita, Kansas, and Mary Smith of Denver, Colorado; and a sister, Rochelle Glick of Sweet Lips, Tennessee. (Note that the semicolon also appears before the and in such a series.) Even when a conjunction is present, use a semicolon before it if individual clauses contain internal commas. • T hey pulled their boats from the water, sandbagged the retaining walls, and boarded up the windows; but even with these precautions, the island was hard-hit by the hurricane. serial or Oxford comma Use a comma before the and in a series of three or more items. Be sure to keep the elements in a series parallel. • She applied to Florida State University, University of Florida, and Nova Southeastern University. • NOT She applied to Florida State University, University of Florida, and especially liked Nova Southeastern University. • OR She applied to Florida State University, UF, and NSU.