Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English ...more
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 " ...more
As someone who writes a fair bit (half a million words on Goodreads alone), I know my way around a sentence. However, when this popped up on Amazon on the cheap, I was powerless to resist, like my dog on a piece of cat shit.
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, Lynn Truss takes us on a Bill Bryson-esque odyssey through a forest of commas, apostrophes, ...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
It is this joke that this book takes its title from – though it is not mentioned in this book. However, there are plenty of other exam ...more
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 ...more
We're called sticklers. Or grammar nazis. We know the difference between who's & whose & whom, they're & their & there, the correct plural for words or the fact that some words exist only in either singluar or plural and correctly use the comma, semicolon, full stop, exclamation mark and question mark. And by god, we'll make you know the difference, too! :D
It is so refreshing reading a book like this. Honestly. Many people, as the author correctly bemoaned, don't give a damn, but ...more
“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 ...more
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.
Ahhhh, except this is the nub of the thing. Lynne Truss in this bo ...more
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.
4 Stars = Outstanding. It definitely held my interest.
Ugh, and see: I'm an ellipses junkie! It's unacceptable, since I am not a famous author who can break the rules with impunity.
However, many of the rules of good punct ...more
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...
7. Emoticons ...more
Anyway, to the book. ...more
I will not be held to rules of capitalization though, because I fell in love with e.e. cummings in high school, and rarely capitalize anything unless writing formally. :) I do not get my knickers twisted over random commas and semi colons, but blatant discrepancies will ...more
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 ...more
This is a first book in a while I read in russian. You may notice that maybe it's not the best idea to read a book about english grammar in russian language. But worry not, I had a really good translation that was created with the help of many educated british ladies and gentlemen; moreover the original quotes were saved in translation and I had a bonus in a form of two phrases instead of one.
This book is not a grammar book but an entertaining nonfiction about the most funny misuse of punctuati...more
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 ...more
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 ...more
– and I thought a picture told a thousand w ...more
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 ...more
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"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.”