Join Lynne Truss on a hilarious tour through the rules of punctuation that is. When Eats, Shoots & Leaves came out, and people wanted to know the story. Eats, Shoots & Leaves has ratings and reviews. I have, for some reason, frequently been recommended Lynne Truss’s book, though the reason. After reading Lynne Truss’s Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Steven Poole concludes that punctuation should be a help, not a hindrance.

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I politely chided a friend in the comments of a post because she had made a grammar error and she didn’t even catch it.

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

It’s not about getting it right all the time, but reading some posts even here on a literary website, for crying out loudmakes me shudder!

Hey, Mr Semi-Colon Man: In The Fight for English: As an example, a headline in the paper states: Truss is a Brit and the usages have not been modified for the American edition of the book. We all know the basics of punctuation. Now they don’t bother with the words and just use the question marks, to save time.

Here, I felt on safe ground lynn most of the things she said jelled with me. View all 11 comments. All in lsaves this book is a good fun read.

This is something I never expected to have in my personal library, that’s for sure. I’m not a stickler, mind, but I do know when things aren’t written properly and there are certain crimes against grammar that I just can’t abide.

If you have always struggled, or sometimes doubt, how to use any of these, this is definitely the book for you. I don’t get all this obsession. The tiny marks that make the written English word behave the way it does have come to us along a remarkable number of paths.

Four out of five stars. The full stop, though a very important member of the contingent above, is not given special treatment because it performs a self-evident role.


Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Ahhhh, except this is the nub of the thing. The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning… Punctuation directs you how to read, in the way musical notation directs a musician how to play. That’s the death call for expository writing and defeats the entire purpose of writing the book. I never knew that! Even worse is the feeling that occurs when coming across such a cliff-edge while reading; a stomach lurching queasiness that something doesn’t feel right, and if only that editor had paid a little more attention we wouldn’t be in this mess!

It’s not only the younger part of the populace either. She lumps improper punctuation in with poor grammar and phonetic spelling, and in the process she looses sight of her original aim. Truss tries very hard to be funny, and she is often successful.

There’s not a whole lot more to divulge. Want to Read saving…. What is especially strange, no, downright scary, is the fact that I know most grammar and punctuation rules better than many a native speaker. Poor writing, she assumes, is due to primarily to ignorance; she deplores shorthand writing for text messages, but fails to consider the utility in that context she doesn’t criticize court stenographers using official shorthand.

I’m sure it says more about them – poor, unenlightened souls – than it does about me; for some reason, in particular, very few people understand what a wonderful punctuation mark the semi-colon is, and that it can, and very often should, be used to replace the period. And then there are those hyper-sensitive souls who feel a misplaced apostrophe on a fruit-stall sign – “Banana’s” – as a sharp mental wound, a barbarism that really spoils their day.

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In addition, Truss includes abundant historical information about the punctuation marks she discusses ranging from the first names for parentheses to the first appearance of an apostrophe in printed documents. And then developed a strong desire to join a militant wing of the Apostrophe Protection Society. Woman, without her man, is nothing. In a language like English, so dependent on rhythm, timing and stress, punctuation is the substitute for our voice.


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

And we’re afraid to ask anyone, lest we look like ignorant yobs. As far as I am concerned, it generally ignores the way language moves to apparent regression when in fact it is merely changing, as it always does.

She has also shown that, to avoid over-using the dash, a colon can easily replace a dash in certain situations. Otherwise it could be read as saying something obscure about how we should tolerate zeros being used as punctuation marks. Lives can depend on it; or at least my sanity and therfore the survival of whoever made me lose it. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

Return to Book Page. Dec 19, Trevor rated it liked it.

But full review will join its friends in the uncensored realms of wordpress, leafmarks and booklikes. Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked.

Apr 29, Bradley rated it really liked it Shelves: Jul 05, David rated it did not like it Shelves: But it’s not easy getting tone across in written words – or, rather, it kinda is isn’t that what writers accomplish all the time? There’s a difference between russian punctuation and english punctuation, and sometimes when I write my reviews, I find it rather hard to determine whether leaes comma is ok to use in english as I use it in russian.