When you see a sign that says, "Apple's for sale," what is your reaction? Do you get excited about buying some apples for a good price, or do you frea...moreWhen you see a sign that says, "Apple's for sale," what is your reaction? Do you get excited about buying some apples for a good price, or do you freak out and have to restrain yourself from defacing the sign with a huge X mark over that completely inappropriate apostrophe? If the latter, you will absolutely love Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. If the former, please read this book. You need it!!
As an American reader, I did have some tough times with a few things that are more British in the book. But overall, I could relate to everything Truss said about punctuation. I cannot tell you how much I loathe the misuse of apostrophes, as in the example above. I'm a professional writer and editor, and I can completely understand Truss's passion for punctuation. I'm considering passing this book along to all of the writers in my department ~ and all of the "subject matter experts" who think they're writers! It should be required reading for anyone who is going to do any sort of writing.
Truss has chapters on the apostrophe, comma, quotation marks, colons and semicolons, dashes and other punctuation. Her writing style is humorous and a bit confrontational. As I mentioned, she is passionate about punctuation and has no tolerance for people who use it improperly. I must say I'm not as knowledgeable about every bit of punctuation she discusses. I learned a bit about uses of colons and semicolons ~ but still prefer to use the dash. :-) And emoticons.
The title of the book comes from a funny punctuation joke in which a panda goes into a bar, eats, shoots the place up and then starts to leave ~ all because the dictionary's definition of a panda says "Eats, shoots and leaves" instead of "Eats shoots and leaves." Get it? If you don't, you seriously have to read this book or any other book that teaches the proper use of punctuation!
Overall, I just loved this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who has ever corrected their friend's or family member's or local business's punctuation because they just couldn't stand it. (less)