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Eten, vuren en beuken

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3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  65,448 ratings  ·  3,506 reviews
Op school leert iedereen de basisbeginselen van de interpunctie. Toch weten we dat de punt, de komma en het vraagteken voor ons nog vele geheimen hebben. Het is de hoogste tijd voor een gezaghebbende gids over interpunctie, zodat we precies weten waar we aan toe zijn.

Lynne Truss, schrijver en radiopresentator, schreef een even dwingend als geestig boek, waarvan in Engeland
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Hardcover, 212 pages
Published 2004 by Prometheus (first published January 2nd 2003)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Nataliya
Jun 11, 2014 Nataliya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Grammar nerds and punctuation sticklers
Bad punctuation can force an innocent animal to live outside the law. Now, instead of peacefully munching, it EATS, SHOOTS, and LEAVES.



I proudly consider myself a punctuation martyr. The setting is an ordinary Soviet elementary school, first grade. I am kicked out of the classroom and sent home with an angry note. My transgression - in my wide-eyed seven-year-old innocence I dared to correct my (very Soviet) teacher on her comma placement and a spelling mistake. This crime landed me on her "bl
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Manny
Jan 19, 2012 Manny marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I have, for some reason, frequently been recommended Lynne Truss's book, though the reason escapes me; friends who have been exposed to my academic writing style are particularly prone to do so, and I have grown used to this strange phenomenon. 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 replac ...more
Jason
I'm a snob. In the comfortable safety of my desk chair, I'm audibly mocking you if you dare use "your" for "you're" (my biggest punctuation pet peeve) or if your emails are peppered with unnecessary exclamation points and an overabundance of emoticons. I like the smiley in IM conversations; I hate it in email. It's just a thing. When I meet a pretty young thing that I might want to break bread with on occasion, I'm filled with anxiety over that first email: will she write in complete sentences w ...more
Jojo
Jul 31, 2007 Jojo rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are pedantic and irritating
Shelves: non-fiction
Maybe it's because I suffer from a lack of punctuation know-how!>?>:_; but this book irked me! Maybe it's because I'm a linguist and, while I understand the purpose and value of punctuation, I just can't get all worked up about it. Yeah, we all gotta have good writing skillz. But, most sticklers for punctuation that I know are people who want to lord their intelligence over other people, but don't have much to recommend their intelligence other than a knowledge of when to use a semicolon. ...more
Chris
This is how I know I'm a real English teacher - I have a shelf dedicated to books just about English. The history of English, the uses and misuses of English, and even the history of the alphabet we use. This is something I never expected to have in my personal library, that's for sure.

But that's all to be expected; I'm an English teacher, and people like me are supposed to read books like this. It's professional development, or something. The weird thing about this book, a book dedicated to pu
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Riku Sayuj

Delightful book. Have enlisted for the corps.

Consider: “Using the comma well announces that you have an ear for sense and rhythm, confidence in your style and a proper respect for your reader, but it does not mark you out as a master of your craft. But colons and semicolons—well, they are in a different league, my dear! They give such lift!” author Truss writes. “The humble comma can keep the sentence aloft all right, like this, UP, for hours if necessary, UP, like this, UP, sort- of bouncing, a
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Aaron
Lynne Truss pulls off the impressive feat of pumping about 20 pages of expository writing full of enough hot air to go into orbit (or at least top the Bestsellers list for several weeks).

I could probably write a book of equal length (a fluffy and yet tedious 204 pages) going into what a disorganized mess this book is, but I'll spare you. Instead, here are three reasons why you should save yourself the criminal $17.50 this book costs.

First, Truss comes across as such a pretentious, self-importa
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Lynne King
I found the title intriguing and also the author’s name. I also enjoyed the first words in the Introduction:

“Either this will ring bells for you, or it won’t. A printed banner has appeared on the concourse of a petrol station near to where I live. “Come inside,” it says, “for CD’s, VIDEO’s, DVD’s, and Book’s.”

Such incorrect usage of the apostrophe and it just makes me squirm. I have the same feeling about “its” and “it’s”. I vividly recall learning English grammar at school. It was exceedingly
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Carol.
Apr 21, 2014 Carol. rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of writing, humor, words
I confess: I frequently find myself self-conscious about my use of punctuation. A few years back, I even bought a copy of Strunk and White’s The Elements of Style, but have yet to read more than a chapter or two at a time before discovering something else to do, even if it’s bathing the dog. Similarly, I procrastinated on reading Eats Shoots & Leaves, and I really shouldn’t have. Full of humor and information, it explains some of the easier nuances to punctuation in a useful and engaging man ...more
David
I really don't see what all the fuss was about this book--the author didn't seem particularly knowledgeable, and her "zero-tolerance" approach seems to do more to promote intolerance than to promote clarity.

In particular, her distaste for "emoticons" seems entirely inconsistent with her fascination with the origins of punctuation--it's as if she thinks of punctuation as a dead thing that _used to be_ alive, but now she doesn't want anyone to disturb the corpse.
Michael
Sanctimonious prudery that doesn't even get everything right, smartly gutted by Louis Menand in a withering New Yorker review. Meh.
Caroline
This book is a witty rant about the use and misuse of punctuation. It has a very high feel good factor. We, the readers, of course know how to use apostrophes correctly, and that writing littered with exclamation marks infers a feeble mind. We know subconsciously, even if not via overt rules, how to use hyphens. We pat pat pat ourselves on the back with being so in accord with this funny woman and her nit-picking usage of grammar.

Ahhhh, except this is the nub of the thing. Lynne Truss in this bo
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Kathrynn
Oct 15, 2008 Kathrynn rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fellow Sticklers
Recommended to Kathrynn by: Language and Grammar Group
I thoroughly enjoyed this short, funny book about British punctuation. The author had a wonderful sense of humor and used it throughout the book. This was a quick read, with sections on the:

1. Apostrophe
2. Comma
3. Quotation Marks (single and double)
(Now I understand why I see punctuation in and outside of quotation marks; British place outside while the American custom place inside.)
4. Colon, Semicolon and Interjections
5. Dash, Exclamation, Question, Italics, Underlining...
6. Hyphen
7. Emoticons
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John Beeler
This book was a waste of my time. Think of an old guy yelling at a bunch of kids to get of his lawn. Then put that sentence in really good grammar, and that is this book.

It's overwhelmingly pretentious. 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.
Shannon (Giraffe Days)
To be honest, I never heard the panda joke until this book came out. The Australian version is a bit different - not as clever and involved, perhaps, but funny nonetheless. It went something like (and I am the worst person at re-telling jokes, I always forget bits. Usually the punchline): What does an Aussie bloke have in common with a wombat? They both eat, shoots and leaves. Except that's not quite it cause the grammar is off. Never let me tell a joke, I'll always ruin it.

Anyway, to the book.
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Emma (Miss Print)
Apr 29, 2008 Emma (Miss Print) rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with an interesting in writing (better)
When was the last time you read a book where you could literally say, "This book has changed my life." Eat, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss is one such book.

At first I thought a zero tolerance approach to punctuation sounded a bit extreme. That is until Truss mentioned one of my favorite movies ("Two Weeks Notice"), pointing out that the title should be "Two Weeks' Notice". I was shocked. I had always assumed an apostrophe was there. Then I started listening to The Plain White T's, a band whose
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Jonathan
I read this last year and as someone who loves words - and punctuation; it was both amusing and informative, in fact I'm making several purposeful mistakes here as I tell you all about how interesting this book was... Yes I really enjoyed this book: and it's insight into the proper use of punctuation! I learnt many things as you can no doubt see from here.

To be serious I must say that this book was enjoyable first and foremost. Secondly this humorous little volume explored a little of the histo
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Rowena
Jun 09, 2012 Rowena rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Lovers of the English language, writers
I don't think I "favourite" many non-fiction books but this book was just brilliant! Lynn Truss laments the misuse of our punctuation marks, and the possible future demise of a couple, such as the semi-colon. This book is perfect (or a bit worrying) for grammar and punctuation sticklers. Some of the examples of terrible punctuation use will make you cringe, while others will make you laugh. On top of that, Ms Truss's wit is in a class of its own! There are lots of literary examples of certain wr ...more
Danger Kallisti
Feb 12, 2008 Danger Kallisti rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who are really good at English and frustrated, and those who suck terribly and need pointers.
Recommended to Danger by: Mike
Amusing. Pretentious. British. It shook my confidence, until I realized that I knew all of this from the get-go, and have intentionally been ignoring it for the sake of art. I write like I think, and I think in text. Defying convention has always been my strong point, after all.
Even then, I think I do a better job at writing in English as it is meant to be written than most people, and I can’t deny that it was gratifying to read a book by someone even more hung up on the finer points of languag
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Cecily
Truss' tongue-in-cheek style may not appeal to everyone and I don't agree with her about everything. In particular, "zero tolerance" makes punctuation an end in itself, rather than an aid to meaning, which seems back to front. It also makes no allowance for context and audience.

However, she gave punctuation and grammar a voice, and, however briefly, made people think about language, ambiguity and meaning, which is certainly good. Or it would be, if it didn't fuel the fire in the bellies of extr
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David
I have no idea why this book enjoyed the success that it did. It, bored, the pants, off, me frankly.
C.
May 30, 2009 C. rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people unclear on the use of basic punctuation
Recommended to C. by: Mrs Connolly
EVERYONE! I HAVE A QUESTION:

When you read to yourself, that is, not aloud, do you hear the words in your head? Does the punctuation affect how you hear them? Does it change, as it were, your mental intonation, the cadences of your inner voice? Does it tell you when to pause, when not to pause, how long to pause, and when to stop completely?

It does mine. And hence why I have never understood why people have trouble with of punctuation (Actually, this isn't quite true: I can understand to a large
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Lucy
More often than not when I read an email or office memo a few punctuation and grammar errors catch my attention. Every so often I get one that reads as if the person who composed it was barely literate. My formal education with grammar and punctuation ended in grade school. High school did not place a large emphasis on it and the very few English classes I took in college assumed students knew a great many things some of my classmates clearly did not. I mostly took it upon myself to make sure I ...more
Cheryl
I read all the books like this that I can find. I used the bibliography of this to find more. I can't evaluate them objectively.

Ok, ETA. I just read and loved The Fight for English: How Language Pundits Ate, Shot, and Left which is a response to the 'zero-tolerance' part of Truss's book by the wonderful & wise David Crystal. He wrote about a lot more than just Truss in his concise overview, but I noted one thing he said that I want to mention here. He seems to think people are thinking of t
...more
Aldrin
Nov 17, 2010 Aldrin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Aldrin by: Fully Booked
Originally posted here.


Stop me if you've heard this one before:
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
...more
Beth
I had read about this book on the Internet; it was hailed as wildly funny and cleverly written. When I decided to look into it, I was surprised to find it was shelved with the nonfiction books. I figured such a humorous book would naturally have to be fiction. It was like when I found out The DaVinci Code actually was fiction. With all the talk on those early-morning shows about it and with people taking it so seriously, I honestly thought it was some guy’s research, not a novel.

It was pretty da
...more
Allie Whiteley
It's a while since I've read this, admittedly, but I do remember finding it infuriating. Quite apart from anything else, I remember going through it with a pencil and finding it riddled with errors! Apparently I wasn't alone, because Louis Menand of The New Yorker was equally scathing and pointed out several mistakes. There were occasional moments of amusement, but on the whole I felt that if you're going to write a book deploring the state of grammar in this country the very least you can do is ...more
Bonnie
A delightful, informative and satisfying read, especially for those of us who feel the urge to reach for a red pen when confronted with the ubiquitous "grocer's apostrophe". Snappy writing makes it fun, right from the start.

If you're a stickler for punctuation, if you have difficulty using correct punctuation -- or if you just want a good laugh, pick up this book! You will at least want to find out how the title manages to become the punch-line for a joke that begins with, "A panda walks into a
...more
Will Byrnes
This is a delightful screed on the demise of punctuation in contemporary expression. Truss bemoans the loss of knowledge or of interest in proper use of language. Truss is a Brit and the usages have not been modified for the American edition of the book. A must and an enjoyable read for anyone who cares about our language, for any reader. In addition to gripes about the slovenly way that we write, Truss offers some history on punctuation.
Joey Comeau
This book made me angry. It is prescriptivist, which is fine, I guess. I mean - you've got to expect that from a grammar written for popular consumption. But what the author clearly thinks is charming snark just comes across as snideness, and it's impossible to tolerate from someone who clearly has no understanding of linguistics. I don't mind stupidity, but I HATE stupidity mixed with a superiority complex.
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Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women's Journal ...more
More about Lynne Truss...
Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! Eats, Shoots and Leaves 2007 The Girl's Like Spaghetti: Why, You Can't Manage without Apostrophes! Cat Out of Hell

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“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 annual 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.”
83 likes
“Thurber was asked by a correspondent: "Why did you have a comma in the sentence, 'After dinner, the men went into the living-room'?" And his answer was probably one of the loveliest things ever said about punctuation. "This particular comma," Thurber explained, "was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up.” 64 likes
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