The colon : is a punctuation mark consisting of two equally sized dots aligned vertically. A colon often precedes an explanation, a list, or a quoted sentence. It is also used between hours and minutes in time, between certain elements in medical journal citations, chapter and verse in Bible citations, and, in the US, for salutations in business letters and other formal letter writing. The character was on early typewriters and therefore appeared in most text encodings, such as Baudot code and EBCDIC. It was placed at code 58 in ASCII and from there inherited into Unicode. Unicode also defines several related characters.