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Hello Teachers,

#1 He looked at me closely before uttering one word: Thief.

#2 He looked at me closely before uttering one word. Thief.

With or without a colon? I feel if it's just one word, without a colon (#2) would be fine. Like your thoughts on this, please.

Thanks.

Comments  
anonymousWith or without a colon?

Like this:

He looked at me closely before uttering one word, "Thief."

The colon drives a tack with a sledgehammer. We all know without the colon that the next word is the one he uttered. Also, "thief" is a word as a word and takes quotation marks accordingly, which is convenient because it is actually dialogue. Besides, colons are ugly and intrusive, and they break the fourth wall, or at least rub against it. You should be looking for ways to avoid them instead of trying to include them.