This is a witty, entertaining, impassioned guide to perfect punctuation, for everyone who cares about precise writing. Not a primer but a 'zero tolerance' manual for direct action. A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter. 'Why?' groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a ...
This is a witty, entertaining, impassioned guide to perfect punctuation, for everyone who cares about precise writing. Not a primer but a 'zero tolerance' manual for direct action. A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter. 'Why?' groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. And sure enough, when the waiter consulted the book, he found an explanation. 'Panda,' ran the entry for his assailant. 'Large black and white mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.' We see signs in shops every day for 'Banana's' and even 'Gateaux's'. Competition rules remind us: 'The judges decision is final.' Now, many punctuation guides already exist explaining the principles of the apostrophe; the comma; the semi-colon. These books do their job but somehow punctuation abuse does not diminish. Why? Because people who can't punctuate don't read those books! Of course they don't! They laugh at books like those! "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" adopts a more militant approach and attempts to recruit an army of punctuation vigilantes: send letters back with the punctuation corrected. Do not accept sloppy emails. Climb ladders at dead of night with a pot of paint to remove the redundant apostrophe in 'Video's sold here'.
Fair. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with writing textual notes highlighting or be an heavily used ex library copy with library markings, stickers or stamps. Dust jacket or accessories may not be included.
Who would think that a book about punctuation could be funny, entertaining and a delight to read. This book should be everyones library.
May 24, 2009
Punctuation: the endangered system
A great piece of humour here and, yet, with a serious aim, this little book has become a runaway bestseller overnight and rightly, too.
As author Lynne Truss has explained, there are many people who have little idea of the basics of punctuation. This does not surprise me in the slightest. As an examiner and a forced PGCE learner, I have found scant regard paid to full stops, commas and question marks- and it is getting worse!
However, by far the number one serial offender is the missing apostrophe. The story of the Panda who eats in a restaurant, then shoots the restaurant up and departs is an amusing story with an important message. The placing of punctuation in the wrong place can completely alter the message being conveyed? and at what a cost.
A REVOLUTION IN PUNCTUATION
The book is dedicated to the memory of the striking Bolshevik printers in St Petersburg who, in 1905, demanded to be paid the same rate for punctuation marks as for letters, and thereby directly precipitated the first Russian Revolution.
We have come a long way in nearly 100 years and the main casualty has been the written word. The ?shorthand? I have encountered in the last six years using the Internet is enough to convince me that this book should be compulsory reading in schools. Besides, it is a good read and very funny in places. To sell 50,000 copies in just over a week on release is a great achievement and illustrates the interest proper ways of communication continue to generate and I thank Lynne for that.
It?s true to say that the book makes a powerful case for the preservation of the system of what is interestingly described as ?printing conventions?. However, this is not a book for pedants but for everyone, including members of the Bar who write lengthy Opinions (like me). It has never surprised me how cross the Judiciary become when they see sloppy legal paperwork. I expect it from solicitors but we must maintain a very high standard at the Bar, even with the infernal Internet and toxic text messages.
Well done, Ms Truss for reminding us of our legal roots? ?sticklers unite? she says, ?you have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion ? and arguably you didn?t have much of that to begin with?.
Do look at the end of the book for a fine bibliography ? all the usual suspects are there including one B Bryson and ?Troublesome Words?, and the excellent Philip Howard?s ?The State of the Language: English observed.? Lynne Truss has protected our endangered punctuation with panache and rightly raised the communication stakes at the right time.
ISBN: 978-1-59240-2038 or 978-1-84668-035-9
Apr 10, 2008
Pretty much what I had expected. The prose is a bit flighty, but the author is doubtless trying (and succeeding) to keep the reader from falling asleep in an otherwise dull subject. Educational and worth reading.
Aug 9, 2007
WHAT A GREAT BOOK!
I bought multiple copies of this book for students in a grantwriting class that I am teaching. It's an easy read, makes its points memorably, and is a fantastic resource. I recommend it highly!
And Alibris is the place to buy - I searched multiple in-store and on-line vendors, and Alibris returned the most reasonable price, even with shipping factored in!
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