We all know the basics of punctuation--or do we? In "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," Truss dares to say, in her delightfully witty way, that it is time to institute a zero tolerance approach to punctuation.We all know the basics of punctuation--or do we? In "Eats, Shoots & Leaves," Truss dares to say, in her delightfully witty way, that it is time to institute a zero tolerance approach to punctuation.Read Less
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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!
Publishers Weekly, 2004-03-29 Who would have thought a book about punctuation could cause such a sensation? Certainly not its modest if indignant author, who began her surprise hit motivated by "horror" and "despair" at the current state of British usage: ungrammatical signs ("BOB,S PETS"), headlines ("DEAD SONS PHOTOS MAY BE RELEASED") and band names ("Hear'Say") drove journalist and novelist Truss absolutely batty. But this spirited and wittily instructional little volume, which was a U.K. #1 bestseller, is not a grammar book, Truss insists; like a self-help volume, it "gives you permission to love punctuation." Her approach falls between the descriptive and prescriptive schools of grammar study, but is closer, perhaps, to the latter. (A self-professed "stickler," Truss recommends that anyone putting an apostrophe in a possessive "its"-as in "the dog chewed it's bone"-should be struck by lightning and chopped to bits.) Employing a chatty tone that ranges from pleasant rant to gentle lecture to bemused dismay, Truss dissects common errors that grammar mavens have long deplored (often, as she readily points out, in isolation) and makes elegant arguments for increased attention to punctuation correctness: "without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning." Interspersing her lessons with bits of history (the apostrophe dates from the 16th century; the first semicolon appeared in 1494) and plenty of wit, Truss serves up delightful, unabashedly strict and sometimes snobby little book, with cheery Britishisms ("Lawks-a-mussy!") dotting pages that express a more international righteous indignation. Agent, George Lucas. (On sale Apr. 13) Forecast: With 600,000 copies of the Profile Books edition in print (up from an original print run of 15,000 in November 2003), it's obvious that Truss's book has struck a nerve. Her volume may not reach such dizzying heights here-perhaps in part due to timing (there can't be Christmas runs in April)-but it'll make a lot of Stateside sticklers very, very happy. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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