Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

 
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Product Description

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air. "Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder. "I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up." The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves." So punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death. This is the zero tolerance guide.

Customer Reviews:

  • A humorous take on our growing ineptitude
    I'm not certain I have ever read a more humorously insightful essay on the state of notation in our language. Kudos to Ms. Truss on making punctuation fun again (but, then again, was it ever?)....more info
  • Funny and informative.
    Who ever would have thought punctuation could be so funny (or controversial)?

    I really enjoyed this book, and I'm glad I read it. It surprised me how much I know about punctuation; where did I learn that? I'm certain I was absent most of high school. I did learn a thing or two (like the difference between who's and whose ... who knew?) But I think the tricky areas of punctuation will still remain tricky for me. Also, I'm an abuser of the eplipsis, and will probably stay that way.

    Truss's sense of humor is quite keen; the humor alone made the book worth reading.

    Plus, my new-found understanding of the semi-colon ....

    (p.s. semi-colons seem a bit pretentious, don't they?)
    ...more info
  • Hilariously useful!
    This is a great book for those in your life who are grammatically challenged. It's also a great book for giving youngsters who are preparing for standardized tests, etc. to make them realize that grammar can be fun and funny. Bits of the book get a little heavy to trudge through, but very few such bits. Overall I found it an awesome addition to my library, the kind you can revisit over and over every few months...more info
  • I am not a pickled herring salesman!
    Lynn Truss, a proud, self-proclaimed snobbish pedant, makes no bones about the fact that her short book, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is really an extended essay on pedantry - a style book, a prescriptive grammar, a manifesto, a rant and, perhaps saddest of all, a eulogy - bemoaning the demise of the correct use of punctuation in the written English word today.

    As a reader, writer and speaker who, frankly, takes pride in an extensive vocabulary and takes pains to use our magnificent language correctly, I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement as Truss eloquently spoke about the purpose of correct punctuation. She helps us to understand that commas, apostrophes, colons and the other denizens of our pantheon of punctuation marks are aids and signs on a road map for communication without misunderstanding. They are an invaluable assistance to reading out loud with the proper interpretation, lilt and intonation that an author intended in the same fashion as a well annotated musical score enables a musician to interpret music as a composer meant it to be played.

    "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" also provides us with snippets of the history of punctuation. I wager that few of us were aware that the apostrophe first appeared as early as the 16th century.

    If history and a pedantic rant delivered with a school marm attitude, a baleful glare and a wrathful wagging finger were all we got from a reading of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", I'm sure most of us would have yawned in complete boredom and Lynn Truss's novel would not likely have reached the list of best sellers. But, thankfully, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is also liberally sprinkled with a very healthy dose of dry as dust British wit, humour and sarcasm that hit my funny bone with a full-sized mallet. One of my favourites was the story of a community group who had built an enormous playground for the children of their neighbourhood and advertised it with the sign "GIANT KID'S PLAYGROUND". To the amazement of the group that had built the facility, it was hardly ever used. Lynn Truss, with tongue in cheek, suggested it was probably because everyone was terrified of meeting the giant kid.

    By the way, the much maligned salesman of this review's title is actually a complete tee-totaller. He is, however, a very exceptional pickled-herring salesman! (If you'll forgive my mixed metaphors, a very different kettle of fish, indeed). This witty little example shows how the poor, lowly, and much misunderstood dash can eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding the sentence.

    Highly recommended.

    Paul Weiss...more info
  • humor for grammar geeks
    If you've been living in a cave, the subtitle explains what Eats, Shoots and Leaves is about: "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation." Since I'm a bit of a grammar geek (albeit an imperfect and occasionally lazy one), I absolutely loved it.

    There wasn't much that was news to me. Ones vs. one's was helpful, though I understand that's controversial. I spent far too much time one day googling to chase down which was correct. For the most part, I vastly prefer the practicality of the British usage of such things as putting punctuation inside or outside quotation marks depending on where it makes sense and whether to add an extra S when forming the possessive of words ending in S:
    British: When did John say "stop"?
    U.S.: When did John say "stop?"
    British: Thomas's
    U.S.: Thomas'

    I do, however, much prefer the logic of the terminal comma in a list, since it makes it clear whether or not the last two items are separate or a pair.

    More entertaining than the facts, however, was the humor. I laughed every couple of pages, and read so many excerpts aloud that my 12-year-old picked it up to read as soon as I'd finished it.

    The bottom line here, though, is that this is a very subjective book. If you're the kind of person who knows the difference between there, they're, and their, cringes at new car's and truck's, and daydreams about taking a Sharpie to the 10 items or less sign, you'll probably love this. If that sounds obsessive to you, and like I should get a life, you'll probably hate it.
    ...more info
  • A joy to read
    This book was a joy to read for me, and it was also research at the same time. I never realized how many punctuation errors people make. Some of these errors drive me crazy, too. I can't stand when people confuse their, there, and they're. This book was good research for me because I wrote my own book about English grammar, but only one chapter deals with punctuation.

    The humor in this book is dry. So if you're not a grammar nut, you're definitely not going to like this book.

    Brandon Simpson...more info
  • Laughed so hard that the neighbors came to check on me!
    Who hasn't received teacher newsletters or PTA flyers in the cubbybag of the sweet urchin returning to the family nest every afternoon. The parent sorts through the spelling tests, free-time drawings, and English writing lessons in search of the weekly newsletter sent by the teacher.

    But first, have a spot of tea. Lean back and relax in anticipation of the sweet innocence and unfailing optimism about to be so touchingly crafted in this message from the teacher. The opening sentence of a paragraph about a recent field trip to the zoo is read. And read again. And reread one more time.

    "The kides, excitement, new no bounds. The class brought along it's camera, All most from the time the gates open our class. Different assistant was given too supervise manage, and keep together their group's as their was so much to see and it was! Truly. a sight! . . ."

    The newsletter goes on to share amusing stories of the students on their trip, their reactions to the various exhibits, and the gentle sound of snoring that filled the bus on its return trip home. (This remains still open to interpretation since the reader is left with only her own personal skill level in decrypting the remainder of the missive.)

    As another writer who is compelled by a Higher (lower?) Power to enforce a Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, I am in a quandary. Red pen poised above the newsletter, I am ready to strike a blow not ONLY in the name of Punctuation, but Grammar, Syntax, and Spelling as well!

    A timely breeze of reality blows through my mind. This was written by my daughter's first grade teacher. She is also the passer-outer of gold stars, smiles, band-aids, security and emotional support for my daughter. Perhaps bleeding all over the paper with what is sure to be a gallon of red ink before all is finished is not the best way to go. Once again, I will request a quiet parent conference for which I will leave my red pen at home and pack my happy pills instead....more info
  • The content is engaging
    It's a fun read, with some educational value to it. As long as you choose to have fun with the book, you will be glad you picked it up....more info
  • Great book!
    This book is not for everyone, but if you're a stickler for using the right words with the right punctuation, then this is for you! I loved it!...more info
  • Eats, Shoots, and Leaves
    Pretty good book. Helpful in its area of punctuation. Recommend it to those English strugglers.Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation...more info
  • World's Funniest Style Guide
    That a book on grammar could be this much fun is unbelievable. Written in a wry British style and pleasantly untouched by American editors, this book twinkles with dry humour, sarcastic remarks and witty double entendres. Fans of British humour and fans of punctuation will enjoy this book alike.

    Truss seems to be able to find the humourous side of almost anything and, more often than not, it is her wry way of putting things that results in the laughs. She manages to cover every punctuation mark commonly used in English and a few that arent'. The coverage is heavy on the apostrophe and comma and somewhat lighter on things like dashes and quotation marks.

    I do find one philosophical point with which to quibble. Truss initially takes a rather intractable approach to variant usages of punctuation which are creeping into modern writing, blaming them primarily on the internet and a lack of sound grammatical education. She backs away from this later, stating that the language is indeed fluid and thus change is inevitable. I am left not quite knowing her position. Perhaps she is trying to find the middle ground.

    To summarize, this book will be loved by grammatical sticklers, those who enjoy dry, erudite humour, and perhaps by those who, like myself, are hopeless with punctuation and grammar, but could use a really good, really funny, style guide. (Clearly I have learned nothing about commas in spite reading this book.) ...more info
  • Huh? Is that funny?
    Well, perhaps the author is right about most of us. We just don't care enough about the misuse and abuse of our punctuation. I bought this book based on a recommendation of a relative. But not even halfway through the book, I find her argument for correct usage of punctuation quite tedious and repetitive; her passion and intensity for the subject, approaching freakishness. Maybe that's her humor. I don't know. All I know is that it was funny for about 10 pages... then she totally lost me. I have better use of my time reading something else a bit more compelling, and actually funny....more info
  • Pandas do what?
    A fun book for both those who are professed punctuation sticklers and those who just want to learn more about proper comma placement. The anecdotes are funny and bring purpose to Truss's cause. It is an easy read when you get around the British style. Be assured that you will be pointing out improper punctuation around town as soon as you start page one....more info
  • This panda says yes!
    Does seeing the following make you want to yank your hair out? Or if you're bald, shred your toupee? "We are open during the hour's of 9 AM to 5:30 PM", "Sorry, were closed," or "Your a cool guy?" Then Eats Shoots and Leaves is the book for you.

    As someone who still goes through the trouble to capitalize at the beginning of each sentence and make it is properly punctuated even in emails, Lynne Truss's Eats Shoots and Leaves was a perfect book for me. I thought I was anally punctuation-oriented, this woman takes the cake, but I really respect her for that. She alone seems to hold the tattered flag of commas, apostrophes, semicolons, colons, and dashes in an Internet world where such little marks are considered excess characters. Basically, the way she puts it, "punctuation herds words together, keeps others apart." But they also serve as necessary pauses between sentences or clauses. Per Cecil Hartley's poem, a comma is one pause length, a semicolon two, a colon three, and a period four. An interesting bit, I thought.

    She gives equal time to apostrophes and takes the time to discuss possessives--you remember those, mine, his, ours, its, etc. She also explains when and how they are used, such as a possessive in a singular noun, or the quantity of time--one week's work. What I didn't know was how ancient historical figures don't need an `s' after the apostrophe, such as Socrates' or Archimedes', but that more modern figures do, such as Keats's. However, she does point out how certain families, institutions, companies, etc. have authority over how they spell their names, so technically, it should be St. Thomas's Hospital, but it's St. Thomas' Hospital.

    Seeing as how the famous panda joke was caused by an excess of commas, Truss leaves no doubt that the comma is a very important punctuation mark, after the period, of course. For example, "What is this thing called love?" and "What is this thing called, love?" are two sentences that have two totally different meanings. Basically though, she does reaffirm the basic info that commas are correctly placed if they can replace the words "and" and "or." For example, "You can take your vacation in Tokyo, Osaka, Himeji, or Sapporo." However, I noticed one crucial difference. Had it been in Britain, the above sentence would not have the comma after Himeji. In America, there is.

    Throughout the book, Truss's no-tolerance approach to the punctuation-challenged masses can be seen, yet she endows her writing with quite a sense of humour and passion. When she mentions how she would've loved to bear the children of Aldus Manutius the Elder, who flourished during the 15th and 16th century, and who along with his offspring took the virgule and made it into a comma, as well as inventing the italic typeface and semicolon, well, need I go on. But she also relates, the way she upstaged a pen-pal of average writing skills by demonstrating her superior vocabulary and using a semicolon properly. The pen-pal never wrote back, clearly bewildered by Truss's prowess. As she quotes from that one scene in Crocodile Dundee, "That's not a knife. THAT's a knife." But she does go through the history of punctuation marks, even citing various modern and classic works to illustrate her point.

    She is a bit mixed on Netspeak. Granted, no one person is in control of it, as in Big Brother in 1984, but its overinclusiveness means that all rules on punctuation are off. She isn't a fan of emoticons because whoever uses them "cried out for an ornamental function," plus they are "a paltry substitute for expressing oneself properly." I'm guilty as the next person for using them, but it depends on the person I'm emailing or Instant Messaging.

    Having this as well as Strunk's book on writing style will put one far ahead in the game for punctuating properly. And a panda-sized thanks to Ms. Truss for writing this book.

    P.S. This panda eats shoots and leaves. Ha!...more info
  • Cute, funny, and informative.
    This book is fun to read especially if you like anecdotes about the mishaps that can happen without proper punctuation this book has pretty standard information about the use of punctuation presented in a fun memorable way with cute stores historical tidbits and a bit of grammarian sarcasm there is not much new information in this book for those who are already as perfect at placing punctuation as I am but would be an excellent read for an adult who just wants some questions about punctuation answered in a fun way however if you want a book to use for quick look ups of punctuation situations you might prefer Strunk and White's Elements of Style....more info
  • Funny and informative.
    I thought this book was funny but only to people who are "into" punctuation and the English language. It is the English language, not the American language, so there are some things that do not apply....more info
  • Great Book
    This is a great book if you are like me: didn't pay too much attention in school early on when I was young and now striving to finish a graduate degree. It is very humorous. Strongly recommend it!...more info
  • O Tempora! O Mores!
    "O tempora! O mores!" lamented Cicero in his speech to the Roman Senate revealing Catalina's attempt to overthrow the Republic. "O the times! O the morals!" Twenty-one centuries later, treachery is once again afoot, and self-proclaimed stickler Lynne Truss is taking a zero-tolerance approach. The villainy Truss uncovers is nothing less than the demise of English punctuation.

    It's hard to imagine a book on punctuation hitting the best-sellers' lists, but this is no dry manual of style. Truss may be a stickler, but she's a pedant with personality, and her writing style is breezy and biting. Her presentation of punctuation peccadilloes is truly hilarious, and they convincingly drive home the point that punctuation can make a big difference in writing. English teachers, copy editors and those gifted few who really know the difference between a colon and semicolon--and how to use them--will love this book. The book can be an entertaining romp for the punctuationally perplexed and apostrophically apathetic as well.

    Every generation longs nostalgically for a lost golden age of virtue and valor; and usually, that golden age is an illusion. Truss calls on the greatest examples of English literature to show how punctuation once was used with purpose and precision, and then compares these with typographical transgressions from billboards and supermarket tabloids. This is hardly appropriate, though. The care with which fine literature is crafted should not be held up as a standard for more mundane purposes of writing.

    Truss raises a number of important issues, but she quickly drops them and moves on as if she failed to see their relevance. For example, she points out the unprecedented widespread literacy of the twenty-first century and the increased use of written language among ordinary people due to email and instant messaging, but she uses this to lead into a diatribe on how people don't punctuate their cell phone text messages. She also recognizes the futility of trying to fossilize a language, fully recognizing the inevitability of language change. "But still... but still...," you can almost hear her muttering under her breath, "we really shouldn't go mucking around with the rules of punctuation." However, the really important issue here is this: increased literacy and new modes of written communication are changing the way we use language, including punctuation.

    Another important point that Truss brings up and then drops is that punctuation is a printer's convention. In speech, we use pauses and intonation to impart subtle nuances to what we say. In writing, the prosodic aspects of spoken language are missing; punctuation is a poor substitute for prosody, but it can still be a useful aid to the reader. The skilled writer adjusts punctuation usage as needed: instant text messages, because of their brevity and lack of subtlety, generally need no punctuation, while scholarly prose, with its finely shaded nuances, should be highly seasoned with commas and semicolons.

    The apostrophe plays a key role in the book; it also illustrates the conventionality (and arbitrariness) of the rules of punctuation. It is not quite clear that the apostrophe serves any useful purpose at all in English writing. Some English text is awkward to read without appropriate apostrophes, but only because readers expect them in particular places. Truss rightly points out that the original purpose of the apostrophe was to indicate where letters were left out in contractions and abbreviations. All languages use contractions, most doing just fine without a marker of omission, and presumably English did too before the introduction of the apostrophe in the sixteenth century. But speakers are at least moderately aware of contractions (that is, they can uncontract these expressions when necessary), so those who wish to master the contraction apostrophe are likely to succeed.

    However, the story gets even more complex, because we have to contend with the apostrophe of possession as well. By historical accident, English nouns mark both plural and possessive with the "s" sound. In speech, we must rely on context to tell whether "sons" means "more than one son," "belonging to one son," or "belonging to more than one son." In writing, however, a printers' convention uses a quite gratuitous apostrophe to distinguish these three meanings. But because this rule does not correspond to anything in the spoken language, it is not surprising that most people are confused by it.

    Truss as well is confused sometimes, in particular with some of the terms she uses. For example, she confuses punctuation for grammar and writing for language. Punctuation is not, as she claims, the stitching that holds language together. Rather, writing is an attempt at recording spoken language, and punctuation is a guide to the reader in reconstructing the prosodic features of speech.

    Although the book is fun to read, it is not a particularly good resource for rules of punctuation. Her examples are always entertaining, as are her digressions into the history of punctuation. However, her explanations are at times redundant or irrelevant, and at others arbitrary or contradictory. Truss's style of punctuation is certainly different from mine, and I was often tempted to start marking up pages. I am well known by my students for being a stickler (my red pen is infamous for "bleeding" all over homework assignments), but I also recognize that the level of meticulousness required of academic prose is far greater than it is for grocery store advertisements, a particular peeve of Truss's.

    Alas, will the abused apostrophe ever find its rightful place in the English language? "Times are bad," Cicero lamented on another occasion. "Children no longer obey their parents, and everyone is writing a book." Indeed, times are bad. People no longer punctuate their sentences, and Lynne Truss has written a book about it....more info
  • interesting punctuational history, but too pround of its sticklerism
    I was a little concerned about this book when I first started it. Perhaps to make a point, or perhaps to seem a little controversial in order to sell more books, Truss starts out with pure diatribe against sloppy punctuation skills. Mostly, she targets supermarket-style punctuation errors, but in her chapter on apostrophes she began with what she deemed useless apostrophe errors, which after a while felt overly restrictive and downright racist. Some of her references to apostrophe errors seemed to fall into the area of non-Anglican names, where apostrophes are used to separate vowels that are separated when pronounced. Her diatribe also seemed to have little consideration for style, merely for rules of usage.

    I did enjoy the level of research in this book--to learn, for example, who invented italic script and semi-colons, and to get some sense of the evolution of punctuation--but the pro-stickler cheerleading seemed to be missing the point of punctuation altogether.

    Fortunately, the later chapters improve in their consideration of style and are a little less hung-up on rules. Perhaps the hardcore stickler attitude was something infused to put some gimmick to the book--after all, the book was a phenomenal success. But as a book that provides an education on punctuation, I would say that it has some interesting moments, but merely reinforces the myth of the steadfast English teacher who looks at punctuation before language rather than vice versa, and does it more to sell than to inform.
    ...more info
  • I thought I was the only one
    I thought I was the only one who routinely called companies when their outdoor signs used the wrong punctuation, or were misspelled, or, the horror, used an apostrophe to denote posession, when they really only needed a word pluralized. Lynne's book is fantastic and a great read for those who are usually pretty good with grammar, but sometimes need a refresher. It's also fantastic for those of us who need an ego check that we're on the right path for proper grammar skills.
    Her follow-on, "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really DO Make a Difference" for kids is a great primer for school-age kids with great illustrations. I highly recommend both books....more info
  • Who knew punctuation could be so funny?
    After years of strict catholic schooling - headed by nun/gramarians - I never found grammar or punctuation to be a laughing matter... Well, it is! Lynne Truss is a comic genius. She is able to point out "giggle-worthy" anecdotes of punctuation debacles. I have been thoroughly enjoying this read - and have learned a great deal....more info
  • Buy this book if you understand and/or appreciate British humor. If you don't, then don't.
    That just about sums it up. Every one of these negative reviews below had griped about her vocabulary, when most of them are blatantly ignoring the fact that British English makes use of some very different terminology than can be found in American English.

    After reading the book, I still get a LOT of enjoyment out of it just from picking it up once in a while and opening it to a random page. Pick any paragraph on the page to read and I bet you'll laugh again too.

    Of course, if you don't appreciate British humor (or should I say 'humour'?), then you should not read it because it will do little more than annoy the crap out of you.

    For the rest of us, her informed-yet-cynical style of writing is very palatable and enjoyable to read, and I wish everyone could just figure out how the hell to use a semicolon!...more info
  • Love it or hate it, this is a necessary book
    In this day and age of IM text, increasing reliance on word processing program spell checkers instead of live editors that cost money, and generally poor education in which children aren't even taught what a semicolon is or does, this book was a delight to see.

    Yes, the author is British; yes, some American readers might be confused by her colloquialisms and word usage. That isn't the point. Contrary to a previous reviewer, who must be even more of a punctuation and grammar freak than I am, the author does set out to do what she intended. She points out just how far our skills in written English have fallen, and why.

    Granted, most of us don't have the leisure afforded to intellectuals to debate the use of single quotes vs double quotes. We just need to know the proper usage for either.

    In this day and age where I can pick out at least three typos per every issue of TIME magazine and the Wall St Journal - grammatical, spelling, and/or punctuation - which would have been unheard of before someone decided that MS Word's grammar checker didn't have to be paid a salary and would suffice in place of human editors, books like this are necessary. They should be mandatory reading for high-school English classes....more info
  • Love it!
    You like punctuation and detail? Then this is the book for you. It doesn't matter if you are a native English speaker or not. The book is extremely approachable to both groups....more info
  • Therapeutic
    I found this calming and therapeutic. I've suffered semi-colon and "and" anxiety for years; perhaps to some extent due to translocations within the English-speaking world. My library contains Fowler's "English Usage", Strunk and White, the American Psychological Association Style Manual, the Chicago Manual of Style, and probably more besides if I ever get around to organizing it.
    The insidious trouble from reading the others is that they love to impose what that guy who was married to Margaret Mead called the "double-bind." (Bates, I think.) They tell you that they're not prescriptive, and that it's alright to do your own thing, but leave you feeling guilty about it if you do. I completely became unable to write "however" after reading Fowler, and it's a terribly useful word. Truss is firm and opinionated but somehow liberating. This is the first time in my life I've written a page containing four sets of quotation marks without worrying and I FEEL GOOD ABOUT IT.


    ...more info
  • Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Lynne has written a marvelous book for all of us who love the world of punctuation and grammar. She fills her book with great British humor and wonderful examples of the good, bad, and ugly of punctuation usage. As an American writer I must remember her warning in the beginning of the book, indicating her use of preferred British punctuation usage to that of the United States. Setting that issue aside and keeping in mind the differences, I enjoyed the book immensely....more info
  • a resource waiting to be used!
    I honestly believe that every person who uses the English language should be required to read this book. I know that my punctuation usage is not yet perfect, but I am grateful to have had many questions answered by this book. I suppose that I can be labelled a "stickler," but even I have had questions at times and did not know where to look since even style guides each have their own opinions.
    Lynne Truss has done her research, and she explains punctuation and sentence structure very clearly. This book was a joy to read, not only for its clarity, but also for the author's intelligent, witty sense of humor. This is a book that I will read and re-read, over and over, for the rest of my days. ...more info
  • A love of phrases
    Being fond of phrases and in general the correct use of the English language our family found this book both amusing and true. Of course we all use the language in our own way and sometimes our errors are more interesting than the correct way and thats okay too.
    ...more info
  • Perfect Gift
    Since first reading this book when it first came out, I have purchased about a dozen copies as gifts for students and for friends and former colleagues whose jobs require a lot of report writing. Though toungue-in-cheeky, this very entertaining book provides all the how-tos and whys you'll need in practically every writing situation....more info
  • Punctuation perfect
    This is the definitive and fun book for punctuation in the English language. I give a copy to each of my children and grandchildren who are attending college....more info
  • Hilariously useful!
    This is a great book for those in your life who are grammatically challenged. It's also a great book for giving youngsters who are preparing for standardized tests, etc. to make them realize that grammar can be fun and funny. Bits of the book get a little heavy to trudge through, but very few such bits. Overall I found it an awesome addition to my library, the kind you can revisit over and over every few months...more info
  • I am not a pickled herring salesman!
    Lynn Truss, a proud, self-proclaimed snobbish pedant, makes no bones about the fact that her short book, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is really an extended essay on pedantry - a style book, a prescriptive grammar, a manifesto, a rant and, perhaps saddest of all, a eulogy - bemoaning the demise of the correct use of punctuation in the written English word today.

    As a reader, writer and speaker who, frankly, takes pride in an extensive vocabulary and takes pains to use our magnificent language correctly, I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement as Truss eloquently spoke about the purpose of correct punctuation. She helps us to understand that commas, apostrophes, colons and the other denizens of our pantheon of punctuation marks are aids and signs on a road map for communication without misunderstanding. They are an invaluable assistance to reading out loud with the proper interpretation, lilt and intonation that an author intended in the same fashion as a well annotated musical score enables a musician to interpret music as a composer meant it to be played.

    "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" also provides us with snippets of the history of punctuation. I wager that few of us were aware that the apostrophe first appeared as early as the 16th century.

    If history and a pedantic rant delivered with a school marm attitude, a baleful glare and a wrathful wagging finger were all we got from a reading of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", I'm sure most of us would have yawned in complete boredom and Lynn Truss's novel would not likely have reached the list of best sellers. But, thankfully, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is also liberally sprinkled with a very healthy dose of dry as dust British wit, humour and sarcasm that hit my funny bone with a full-sized mallet. One of my favourites was the story of a community group who had built an enormous playground for the children of their neighbourhood and advertised it with the sign "GIANT KID'S PLAYGROUND". To the amazement of the group that had built the facility, it was hardly ever used. Lynn Truss, with tongue in cheek, suggested it was probably because everyone was terrified of meeting the giant kid.

    By the way, the much maligned salesman of this review's title is actually a complete tee-totaller. He is, however, a very exceptional pickled-herring salesman! (If you'll forgive my mixed metaphors, a very different kettle of fish, indeed). This witty little example shows how the poor, lowly, and much misunderstood dash can eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding the sentence.

    Highly recommended.

    Paul Weiss...more info
  • humor for grammar geeks
    If you've been living in a cave, the subtitle explains what Eats, Shoots and Leaves is about: "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation." Since I'm a bit of a grammar geek (albeit an imperfect and occasionally lazy one), I absolutely loved it.

    There wasn't much that was news to me. Ones vs. one's was helpful, though I understand that's controversial. I spent far too much time one day googling to chase down which was correct. For the most part, I vastly prefer the practicality of the British usage of such things as putting punctuation inside or outside quotation marks depending on where it makes sense and whether to add an extra S when forming the possessive of words ending in S:
    British: When did John say "stop"?
    U.S.: When did John say "stop?"
    British: Thomas's
    U.S.: Thomas'

    I do, however, much prefer the logic of the terminal comma in a list, since it makes it clear whether or not the last two items are separate or a pair.

    More entertaining than the facts, however, was the humor. I laughed every couple of pages, and read so many excerpts aloud that my 12-year-old picked it up to read as soon as I'd finished it.

    The bottom line here, though, is that this is a very subjective book. If you're the kind of person who knows the difference between there, they're, and their, cringes at new car's and truck's, and daydreams about taking a Sharpie to the 10 items or less sign, you'll probably love this. If that sounds obsessive to you, and like I should get a life, you'll probably hate it.
    ...more info
  • "Why don't you just tell me..."
    This book was recommended to me for my bad grammar, but it didn't do much to help. My problem with this book is that after you read it, you feel like a third-grader. I'd prefer less opinion and more instruction ,but that's not the case in this book. The author wants you to know her opinion but offers little instruction. If you want to read a rant on grammar then this is the book for you, but if you want a black-and-white approach with examples ( instead of someone repeatedly telling you how easy it all is)don't even think about using this book as a reference. ...more info
  • I NEVER GOT MY BOOK
    I have never received my book. The seller rushed me leave her a positive feedback, before I received the book, by sending me multiple emails. In the end, I still do not have that book. Neither did I receive a refund......more info
  • Your library has 10 copies of this book--guarenteed!
    If you must: I suggest your local library. That, or you could buy it used. They are currently selling used copies of the hard back for one cent.

    That's about all it's worth. Her information is fair, but her attitude is horrible. She insults every facet of the very audience that is asking her for help....more info
  • It gets folks fired up, doesn't it?
    My punctuation is definitely not perfect, but I enjoyed "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" a lot because I too am frustrated by the insanity that has writers putting an apostrophe before the "s" in any word ending in that letter! Drives me batty! I believe that the author has toungue planted firmly in cheek and found myself laughing all the way through her book. I am glad that even in punctuation, humor can be found.

    It also heightened my awareness of "writing right" and made me want to do a better job of using reference guides to understand why things are done as they are, instead of just going by the seat of my pants and "I think it looks right, oh I'll just throw in some more commas."...more info
  • An ode to an endangered species: Punctuation
    This book is not a grammar or style guide. This is rather a book by someone who is passionate about language, in general, and punctuation, in particular. If you see a signboard of a shop advertising "CD's, Video's, DVD's, and Book's", and if you see another one declaring "No Dogs Please" and both of them trouble you immensely, then this book is for you.

    Such grammatical errors have troubled me all my life, and I found this book not only immensely entertaining but I identified with the author's feelings very deeply. Yes, I do punctuate my text messages; yes, I do use proper capitalizations and punctuations in my e-mails; and the author declares that sadly most of the people do not bother about such niceties.

    Funny, informative, and full of humourous anecdotes, Truss's book is an ode to an endangered species: the punctuation. I enjoyed every page of it. ...more info
  • Fun book
    I thought this was a fun book, although I'm not sure that I agree with all of the author's points. Clearly, she cares a great deal about grammar in a way that the rest of us might not. Still, it was quite entertaining. I definitely recommend it for anyone who enjoys word (crossword puzzlers, Scrabble players, or just readers)....more info
  • A LAUGH PER PAGE
    A cute little book with some fun prose, and a lot of confusion and differences of opinion about punctuation. It's the British way or the Truss way, but often doesn't help us across "the pond." She did get me thinking about sentence and paragraph structure, and probably more confused. The book did help me with apostrophes and the dashes, and it also reassured me to know that my high school English teacher was not always right. It's good to know that there are many different ways of punctuating, as long as the message gets across clearly. So there, Ms Langley! Would I buy the book again? Yep! (did I use that exclamation point properly?)...more info
  • Better to light a candle than curse the darkness
    As the old saying goes, it's better to light a candle than curse the darkness. A little cursing is actually OK, but all Lynne Truss does is sit on the ground and cuss, and she never does light any candles. This book is just endless complaining; there is hardly any actual guidance on punctuation. Moreover, even the American edition takes no notice of American usage, except to mention its existence in passing. Truss's book deals exclusively with the British rules, which are rather different from ours, so the book is worthless for Americans. Finally, she had the extremely poor taste to state that the worst thing (for her, apparently) about September 11 was the misuse of the word "enormity" in the media. (Apart from the moral horror of such a statement, the media did in fact use the word correctly in that context, for once.)...more info
  • Puzzled by all the hype...
    Frankly, I'm puzzled over the hype about this book. I have always been annoyed with mistakes in spelling, grammar, and punctuation. But even I had trouble making it through this book. Sure, there were interesting and funny sections. And I even cleared up a few punctuation rules that weren't clear to me before. However, there were parts I found downright boring. It seems like the average person cares less about punctuation than I do, so how did this get on the best-seller list? I am glad I read it, though, because I did learn something. It's also good to know there are people out there who care about punctuation even more than I do!...more info
  • Entertaining but poorly punctuated!
    As 532 other reviewers have (by in large) said, Lynne Truss's book is a funny and enjoyable rant about proper punctuation. It's also remarkably poorly punctuated for a grammar book. In some passages, Truss uses a forest of commas that get in the reader's way; in others, she omits commas that the reader needs to understand her meaning -- and there's little rhyme or reason for why she goes from one extreme to the other. In one section, after stating that her goal is to get "the greatest clarity from punctuation," Truss writes: "There is a rumour that in parts of the Civil Service workers have been pragmatically instructed..." when she means (for clarity): "There is a rumour that in parts of the Civil Service, workers have been pragmatically instructed...." There are many, many other examples that will (or should) leave punctuation sticklers shaking their collective heads. That said -- and I feel much better now for saying it -- Truss's good advice and entertaining writing far outweigh her occasional bad usage, making this a grammar book worth buying....more info
  • I Like the Audio Better than the Hard Cover
    Since 531 people have already reviewed Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation and a gozillian people have reacted with comments when they voted, I am being assertive by thinking I can add something. By the way, the other reviews are entertaining.

    When I bought my book, I was glad to get it. I had heard an interview with Lynne Truss on television, and I knew I had to have this book. When I started reading it, I found it amusing; but to be honest, I found that it dragged a little at times. Then I listened to the audio, which is thoroughly entertaining. Something is lost when it is not possible to hear this book read with a British accent.

    At first, I bristled a little because it seemed she was poking at us in the United States. Since I am from Mississippi -- considered the most illiterate place in this country but also the home of John Grisham, William Faulkner, Eudora Welty, and Margaret Walker -- I was thinking that the British people -- because they have William Wordsworth, Geoffery Chaucer, and William Shakespeare (none of these guys punctuate the way Ms. Truss does) and because they spoke our English first -- think they are smarter than we are, that they speak better, and that we never can talk or write right. I was relieved to find that she criticizes her own people. She astonished me by admitting that people on her side of the pond use commas for apostrophes sometimes. I have never seen that error.

    She seems to consider young children in England the best informed group about punctuation and other matters of grammar. The dilemma as to whether we should obey rules or whether the rules should obey our usage is not solved in this book.

    No matter what I thought, I found it entertaining, and I like to contemplate the use of language. To make this subject fun is a major achievement.

    Get your hands on the audio, but buy the book as a reference. I hope you find this review helpful. ...more info
  • Grammar Police
    I did like reading about grammar. I love grammar. I love punctuation and I love the English language. As a teacher, I found it entertaining and informative in non-structured way. However, I do not like it when a writer states something like a joke or a particular way of punctuating a sentence and then goes on to explain the whole thing, as though you are a bit daft and would not understand without her interpretation.

    The book is a great idea but I began to skim the book about a third of the way through. You might as well......more info
  • I could not have been more wrong
    Yes, that's right, 5 Stars for a book about proper punctuation. I fully expected to get through this book only for my 2008 Challenges. In my mind's eye I saw myself reading a page or two and then falling sound asleep from boredom. I could not have been more wrong.

    Not only does Lynne Truss make punctuation interesting, she makes it funny. She knows just were little punctuation puns fit. Who knew there were 17 proper uses for the apostrophe?! There was, at onetime, a movement to have a special mark to indicate a rhetorical question. As is stated on the front flap, "Through sloppy usage and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now "txt msgs", we have made proper punctuation an endangered species." (not to mention proper spelling)

    I've given this book 5 Stars not only because I enjoyed it, but because I think all of us who have been out of the classroom for 10 years or more could use a refresher....more info
  • Delightful!
    I never thought that I'd ever find myself in a quiet, public room, sitting by the fireside after an afternoon of skiing, surrounded by other hotel guests, and suddenly laughing out loud while I read a book about, of all things, punctuation. However, despite the seemingly dull topic, I found this short little gem of a book to be wonderfully written and, at times, absolutely hilarious. Lynne Truss has a sense of humor that would probably enable her to make almost any topic you can think of funny. In this particular case, if you know the English language and you love to read, you'll find "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" to be truly delightful! ...more info
  • As delightfull as the joke abot the panda!
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a delightful, light hearted look at the good, the bad and the simply incorrect of English grammar, told in straight forward, funny, personal style. Anyone who cares about written English must read this brief yet detailed discussion of the when, where and why of placing commas, simi-colons and the dreaded colon. Lynn Truss abley demonstrates her knowledge of the subject as well as the language used in discussing it. A small book packed with valuable information on punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves should be on every writer's book shelf....more info
  • best "grammar" type book out there
    I have taught English all my professional life and currently teach writing at Miami Dade College (Wolfson Campus). This is the absolutely best book available to made not only punctuation but sentence creating more educationally available to students. It should be a textbook and not most of those other useless things filled with useless pages of exercises that don't do anything to improve students' (writers') ability to proof read their drafts. Eric Selby...more info
  • Passionate about Punctuation
    "A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing." ~ pg. 9

    It is probably not unusual to feel slightly uncomfortable while reading a book on grammar or punctuation. "How many mistakes have I made?" you may ask yourself. As someone who grew up in a country that called parentheses "brakets" I have reason to feel slightly more at home with some of the British usage.

    For the most part the book is strangely entertaining. Is it funny? To be honest I laughed three times by page ten and then didn't again until page 63 and 92. So it is humorous in places. I must also say that I'm siding with anyone who hates the Oxford comma.

    Lynne Truss spends a lot of time explaining its and it's. One third of the book is dedicated to the apostrophe. Which I must say had many good examples. The rest of the book is dedicated to colons, semicolons, question marks, exclamation marks, commas, hyphens, parentheses and quotation marks.

    "The basic rule is straightforward and logical: when the punctuation relates to the quoted words it goes inside the inverted commas; when it relates to the sentence, it goes outside. Unless, of course, you are in America." ~ pg. 155

    My only real complaint is that the publisher did not adapt the entire book for an American audience. Comments are made about the difference in usage, but otherwise you are left to fend for yourself.

    ~ The Rebecca Review
    ...more info
  • Truss's Trick - Punctuation Humor
    I usually read escapist fiction. Since I spend my working hours writing factual matter (I'm a technical writer), I almost never read non-fiction, and it would generally be a cold day down in Dantes' neighborhood on which I would voluntarily pick up a book on - of all things - grammar. But, given this book as a gift, I was finessed into actually opening it.

    What a great surprise! I hooted, I snorted, I laughed involuntarily until people looked at me sideways!

    This is great stuff! Lynn Truss speaks to everyone that has ever winced at a lunch menu with a "Chefs Special" or "Kids Menu" or "Dilled Carrot's", etc. Though few of us actually spend a great deal of time and energy anguishing over the punctuation faux pas with which public literature is littered, many of us wince when confronted with them. Here is the hero of our wincing Inner Stickler!! (Go Lynn!)

    This book is filled with good, silly, erudite anecdotes (the STET scene springs vividly to mind! I've been there, too, Lynn!) and hilarious examples. Although it is somewhat of a page-turner, it's made up of very short episodes, and so is easy to put down - though easier to pick up.

    Not everyone will resonate with this book (just look at some of the reviews). To enjoy it, your Inner Stickler can't be too fussy and rigid to recognize some slightly different points of view that just might be equally valid. Conversely, you have to at least be able to perceive the differences in variously punctuated phrases; if to you "A woman, without her man, is nothing." looks the same as "A woman: without her, man is nothing." you should not bother to pick up the book. It would merely baffle and bore you.

    For the right reader (and all writer readers, I would think!), this is a hilarious romp amongst the speed bumps and parking lot lines of language. Enjoy!...more info
  • Punctuate this!
    This is a great fun book, and I really enjoyed reading it. It has been a while since I laughed so hard. Wait, should I have said, "This is a great, fun book"? When do we use Mrs. Comma?

    The author writes, "Punctuation has been defined many ways. Some grammarians use the analogy of stitching: punctuation as the basting that holds the fabric of language in shape. Another writer tells us that punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop." (p. 7).

    Punctuation can alter the sense of a string of words. Take the following example:

    A woman, without her man, is nothing.
    A woman: without her, man is nothing.

    The use of punctuation is like fashion; it has its moments. One day it might be fashionable to use a semi-colon; another day it might not! Wait a second! Did I use my punctuation right? Should there have been a semi-colon after the word semi-colon? What a conundrum! And talking of semi-colons, did you know that colon in Greek means a limb (hence part of a strophe. A strophe is the first of two movements made by a chorus during the performance of a choral ode, but you all knew that, didn't you)? So a semi-colon is a half limb. But wait a minute, does apostrophe come from strophe or the other way round? Or maybe there is no relation whatsoever? Open your dictionaries!

    Did you know that women use exclamation marks more than men! Wait, I really meant to put a question mark!

    Did you know that most punctuation marks were invented by the early printers? Punctuation can render the written word into the way we talk. For example, poses between words, marking thoughts...

    How about punctuation in text messages? Do any of us bother putting them? And how about in emails or while chatting on the internet, how do we use punctuation? Who invented the smileys and for what reason? Smileys are made of punctuation marks. For example, :-) is a smiley meaning a smiling face. Smileys are made of punctuation marks. Funny enough, I was looking for the plural of smiley (which I thought to be smilies) and could not find the word in either the Oxford or the Webster dictionary. I, however, was able to find it in the Collins and the American Heritage dictionary. I wonder why that is?! Hey, was that a correct usage of punctuation?!!!!!

    Here's a nice fact: a few years ago, the average age of email users was 20. It is now 30, and climbing. More and more of us are using email to communicate with each other, and more and more of us are at a loss of how to use punctuation properly, if any. Just look at all the punctuation mistakes I have made in this short review (please don't count the grammatical errors!!!!!).

    This is a book you will love reading, and you will find yourself with a smile on your face. This book does not intend to teach you. Rather, it informs you! Did you say women use exclamation marks more often than men?

    The title of the book came about from a dictionary definition of panda. According to the author, the dictionary defined panda as a bear-like animal that eats, shoots and leaves. On the cover of the book, you actually see a panda on a ladder erasing the comma after eats. The sentence should have correctly read, `a bear-like animal that eats shoots and leaves.' Well, no one is perfect. (I keep wondering whether I am using punctuation correctly. What hath this book done to me? I mean to me!!!!!)

    I highly recommend the audio version of this book as well. In fact, the book is based on the audio version. Throughout the audio you will hear interviews with punctuation professionals and secret societies with the sole goal of correcting punctuation mistakes. Really, no kidding! Well, maybe not that secret. One such society has as its goal to correct apostrophe mistakes. For example, its or it's? They actually write letters to editors and store owners (is that owner's?) making them aware of the correct usage of this infamous punctuation mark. Some store owners actually change their signposts to reflect the correct usage. But many don't. Amazing! Who said all secret societies are bad?

    Here's a fact: The English language first picked up the apostrophe in the 16th century. The word in Greek means "turning away", and hence "omission" or "elusion". In classical texts, it was used to mark dropped letters, as in t'cius for "tertius" (p. 37).

    O, before I forget, here's a useful insight: The American and British editions of this book use punctuation differently!

    Wait, before I go, here's another thought: hopefully the author won't read my review and use me as an example of how horrible my punctuation is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...more info
  • Clever and Funny
    It's a grammar reference book that I've read cover to cover twice. Nice trick, innit? That must be why the genre is listed as Reference/Humour. Obviously she's preaching to the choir here, but I don't care. I love the book. Read it if you haven't before. Read it if you have before. It's all good....more info
  • Eats shoots & Leaves
    Hilarious book I bought for my stepmother who is a punctuation stickler. I didn't get to read the whole thing before I gave it to her, but I couldn't put it down. She loved it so much, she can't stop raving about it....more info
  • Different, but a Treat
    I wasn't sure what to make of this book when I first saw the title. What did "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" mean? It sounded a little crazy to me. But when I started reading the book I quicky realized it was a gem. It's a book on punctuation, and yet it became a best seller. How is this possible? When you read it you'll see why it happened, and there's no doubt that it deserved the attention. Not only is it well-written, it's humerous, and it does, indeed, give you a lot of good information about punctuation. You might wonder how chapters on the comma, the apostrophe,and the dash could keep your interest, but you only have to start reading the book to see that it is possible. All in all, it's a fun book to read....more info
  • For all the Punctuation Facists
    This book, will remind all the grammatical, and punctuation oafs; that good puntuation is as necessary as fresh air!
    It is recommended only for the stout hearted.
    Lynne's, take-no-prisoners style, is only for the reading kind; and not the Macdonalds, TV and computers kind.
    If you object to serious punctation; don't buy this book. You'll get a bloody good ear bashing; and come away wounded if you do.
    Fabulous! ...more info
  • Lynne Truss Has Got A Little List
    As someday it may happen that a victim must be found,
    She's got a little list -- she's got a little list
    Of illiterate offenders who might well be underground,
    And who never would be missed -- who never would be missed!
    There's the greengrocer's redundant and reviled apostrophe
    Granting unapproved possession of the carrot and the pea --
    All the dangling expectations when the commas aren't in pairs --
    All the chaos that's created in semantical affairs --
    All editors eliminating semis from your list --
    They'd none of 'em be missed -- they'd none of 'em be missed!

    She's got 'em on the list -- she's got 'em on the list;
    And they'll none of 'em be missed -- they'll none of 'em be missed.

    There's the muzzy-headed journalist whose phrases roam like sheep,
    Who thinks that commas don't exist -- she's got him on her list!
    And the pedants whose subordinated clauses bring on sleep,
    They never would be missed -- they never would be missed!
    There's the manuscript that always gives infuriating pause
    By the wrongful punctuation of the inoffensive clause,
    And ambiguous intentions when a colon should be placed
    But the author for some reason holds that mark in great distaste,
    And the cavalier exclaimer who from screaming can't desist --
    I don't think he'd be missed -- I'm sure he'd not be missed!

    She's got him on the list -- she's got him on the list;
    And I don't think he'd be missed -- I'm sure he'll not be missed!

    And the sentences that ought to end but will not mind the stop
    So the readers lose the gist -- she's got 'em on the list!
    And the badly punctuated placard shilling for a shop,
    They'd none of 'em be missed -- they'd none of 'em be missed.
    And the foes of readability with dashes everywhere,
    They inch along in fits and starts, they make you want to swear,
    The intolerant authorities whose standards are not yours,
    Those moral weaklings oozing indecision from their pores,

    It's a stickler's job to see they all are placed upon the list,
    For they'd none of 'em be missed -- they'd none of 'em be missed!

    In homage to THE MIKADO; libretto by W.S. Gilbert and music by Arthur Sullivan.

    Linda Bulger, 2007...more info
  • Good layman's guide to punctuation with some nice twists
    I was very curious about this book; it is a best-selling novel that is primarily about punctuation, how can you go wrong?

    The layout to the book is fairly simple and the style is replicated for each chapter. In each chapter Truss tells some funny anecdotes about the punctuation being discussed; she give some examples of how misusing the punctuation can change the meaning of the whole sentence. She then discusses the proper use of the punctuation and follows that with a history of how the punctuation got to be where it is today. Full chapters are given to the discussion of the comma and the apostrophe. Colons, semi-colons, braces, etc. are combined in the two final chapters.

    Now you are asking, "How can this book be interesting?" If you have ever wondered if you are doing your punctuation properly, it will be interesting. If you have ever wondered where the strange punctuations we use come from, it will be interesting to you. If you have never wondered any of the above, then the examples of punctuation missteps given will probably have you chuckling anyway.

    There were a lot of things I liked about this book and some I disliked. I will give a list of each below.

    Likes:
    - I liked the humor in the book.
    - Descriptions of how to use the punctuation were easy to understand.
    - The brief histories' of the punctuations were also interesting.
    - Truss does a good job of comparing American and English punctuation; so even though Truss in an English author, us Americans don't feel left out.
    - The book was nicely organized and well-written (although this should be a given considering the topic).
    - This book really drives home the point of how subjective punctuation is and how flexible and variable the rules of punctuation are.
    - It really made me start to pay more attention to my usage of punctuation.
    - The anecdotal stories about punctuation usage provide great examples and are interesting.

    Dislikes:
    - In some cases it makes the proper use of punctuation more muddy than ever. It drives home the fact that the more you learn about a thing, the more you realize you don't (and never will) fully understand it.
    - There is a lot of self-gratifying (for the author) ranting about the misusage of punctuation. This could be good or bad depending on if you relate to the author's rants or not.
    - An English author wrote this book; there are many references in English language that might be confusing to an American reader. Many of the punctuations have different names in British English than in American English - the author does make an attempt to address this.
    - The topic of "where will books be in the future" is briefly visited in the last chapter. This is such a large and controversial topic that I think it might have been better to not bring it up at all than to mention it, but then say that it's not going to be discussed.
    - This book also makes me think way too much about my punctuation now; I suppose that could be a good thing.

    Overall this was a good book to read. It is not that difficult to read and is a great layman's book on punctuation. It provides great insight into the controversial world of punctuation debate and usage. If you have ever been in doubt over whether or not you have a semi-colon addiction; this is the book for you!

    http://karissabooks.blogspot.com/...more info
  • My Punctuation Better Be Right After Reading This
    Lynne Truss has succeeded in bringing the droll subject of punctuation to life, in a style that I can only begin to give credit to here. The author writes in an aggressive style that reveals her beyond-passionate belief in the importance of correct punctuation. This author does more than write, she convinces the reader she's on a mission. At times you can even feel the author's anger over misuse of punctuation rules.

    Ms. Truss uses many amusing illustrations of bad punctuation to make her points. After reading those illustrations, I was appalled that while I could see many of the errors she was pointing out, some escaped my brain altogether (you'll see why I was appalled when you get to my last paragraph).

    While many may think correct punctuation is somewhat of a trivial nature (and maybe it often is), Ms. Truss points out to us through one example that comma placement in a significant biblical verse has indeed caused a tremendous interpretation difference among various religious denominations. If I dare say it, this interpretation difference is truly of biblical proportions (read page 74 of the book to see what I mean). She uses many other examples to show that a change of comma here, or a missing semicolon there, can lead to a major change of meaning for a passage.

    If I haven't already made it too clear, I do recommend this book for a fun read. I can also recommend it for your professional bookshelf, as I'm a high school writing teacher. I believe this book can be used as a tool for showing students, in a fun and insightful way, why we should trouble ourselves to observe the laws of proper punctuation. I plan to refer to it often in my work....more info
  • Fun with punctuation- who would've believe it was possible?
    Lynn Truss manages to make understanding punctuation an enjoyable subject. Helped by good graphic illustrations, the implications of right and wrong punctuation become evident. It was most enjoyable....more info