Jojo's Reviews > Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jul 31, 07

bookshelves: non-fiction
Recommended for: people who are pedantic and irritating
Read in May, 2006

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. Chances are, if you're talking about a Panda, I'm going to know that it didn't walk into a restaurant, eat dinner, kill someone, and head back to China. Whatever. Read it if your punctuation is good and you want to feel smug.

Incidentally, someone actually gifted me this book, because they know I have lofty degrees and figured this might be a good book for smart people. Hah. Smart people like me need a good reference grammar and style manual, not a "funny" book on punctuation.
31 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Eats, Shoots & Leaves.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

dateDown_arrow    newest »

Bill Interesting: A linguist with marginal language skills...

message 2: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl I am probably the biggest stickler for punctuation you know. Perhaps one day I will be able to convince you that punctuation abuse is not merely an epidemic, but a pandemic in America - and if we don't stop it, we may as well all kill ourselves right now, with knives and vegetable peelers and mercerized rope and antifreeze and HIV. Oops, maybe there should be another comma in there. Besides, why are you so confident about the nonexistence of Killer Pandas?

message 3: by Jojo (last edited Feb 04, 2009 05:19PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jojo Hey LG, at least you didn't call me a "linguist with marginal language skills" like my good buddy Bill. Interesting you should mention Killer Pandas -- I read that a man in China was recently mauled by a Panda. I hope it wasn't my review that caused him to think it was okay to climb into the panda enclosure.

message 4: by Emma (last edited Mar 15, 2009 07:33AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma Mcshane A humorless linguist with her panties in a wad is she.

message 5: by Jojo (new) - rated it 1 star

Jojo Your right Emma - I can never hope to be as fun or humorous as a pedantic punctuation princess.

Emma Mcshane My right?

message 7: by Jojo (new) - rated it 1 star

Jojo Oh Emma, did you have to take the bait and prove my point?

message 8: by Kinsey (new)

Kinsey Swartz Jojo, you forgot to put a comma between "Oh" and "Emma", failing to properly offset the vocative! What were you thinking?

Sorry. Couldn't resist. :)

message 9: by Jojo (new) - rated it 1 star

Jojo Kinsey! Thank you for your good natured criticism, though I must say, it was the most painful criticism of all, because I truly love the vocative, and should have gotten it right.

Eric Rickey Thank you all, for the laughs. :0)

message 11: by Peter (new) - added it

Peter Fabre Ad hominem attacks don't validate your point. I agree and disagree. I struggle with punctuation and therefor found a number of pitfalls i wasn't previously aware.
I think the approach to the book is more important than what knowledge you may gain from it.

Eirene Hogan I agree with you completely, Jojo. Grammar simply describes the written version of the language we all speak. That written version is a fossilised version of the spoken one. Refusing to accept changes in the language is just sticking to that fossil. Grammar is simply a tool, useful to ensure we are making our written language clear, but not something to prove your intellectual worth by. (Now, I hope no one quotes the stupid rule about not ending a sentence with a preposition. That is not a rule of English, but of Latin or Greek.)

back to top