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In Eats, Shoots Leaves, Former Editor Lynne Truss, Gravely Concerned About Our Current Grammatical State, Boldly Defends Proper Punctuation She Proclaims, In Her Delightfully Urbane, Witty, And Very English Way, That It Is Time To Look At Our Commas And Semicolons And See Them As The Wonderful And Necessary Things They Are Using Examples From Literature, History, Neighborhood Signage, And Her Own Imagination, Truss Shows How Meaning Is Shaped By Commas And Apostrophes, And The Hilarious Consequences Of Punctuation Gone AwryFeaturing A Foreword By Frank McCourt, And Interspersed With A Lively History Of Punctuation From The Invention Of The Question Mark In The Time Of Charlemagne To George Orwell Shunning The Semicolon, Eats, Shoots Leaves Makes A Powerful Case For The Preservation Of Proper Punctuation 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, and then falling down, and then UP it goes again Stop me if you ve heard this one before A panda walks into a caf No, wait He goes to, um, uh, Niagara Falls Yeah, that s it And this panda walks directly up to the edge of the rushing water, where he allows himself to plummet over the side to the churning froth below, wildly gesticulating with his arms all the way down The tragic suicide was a complete mystery to the panda s family until his wife came across a badly punctuated travel brochure in her husband s personal effects that said, A visitor to Niagara sees, falls, and waves From The Comma Denominator Good News No One Knows How to Use These Things by another of the grammar corps Bad punctuation can force an innocent animal to live outside the law Now, instead of peacefully munching, itEATS, SHOOTS, and LEAVES I proudly consider myself a punctuation martyrThe 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 black list for the rest of the year This was the beginning of my grammar vigilante stickler lifeDo you think I can sue her for my therapy billsSometimes I discuss punctuation when I talk to my mother on the phone In my defense, she is a language teacher Ah, never mind, I don t have a valid defenseYes, I know I should get a life But I am ok with being patheticAnd then I found this book And realized that I am not alone And had a very enjoyable few hours reading the creation of a fellow grammar stickler And then developed a strong desire to join a militant wing of the Apostrophe Protection SocietyWhy did the Apostrophe Protection Society not have a militant wing Could I start one Where do you get balaclavas Should I be seeking therapy for this The bills will, of course, go to the aforementioned teacher. This book is a must read for all the grammar and punctuation sticklers out there It is a witty and entertaining read perfect for those like me who start hyperventilating and breaking out in hives at the misuse of commas, apostrophes, and semi colons If you ever felt a surge of rage at those who do not understand the difference between contractions, possessives, and plurals, then this book will be like a breath of fresh air for you 5 perfectly punctuated stars Punctuation can save lives That s right, kids Take this to heart. I have, for some reason, frequently been recommended Lynne Truss s book, though the reason escapes me friends who have been exposed to my academic writing style are particularly prone to do so, and I have grown used to this strange phenomenon I m sure it saysabout them poor, unenlightened souls than it does about me for some reason, in particular, very few people understand what a wonderful punctuation mark the semi colon is, and that it can, and very often should, be used to replace the period Though there is also, of course, much to recommend the humble comma the average sentence not that I wish to imply that a sentence should content itself with merely being average could be much improved by the addition of one or two, possibly , of these handy little beasts.No, I simply can t understand it I suppose that a careful reading of Eats, Shoots and Leaves could, if I really tried, help me make my sentences a little longer, and assist me in festooning them with additional, glorious, punctuation But why gild the lilybased on a conversation earlier this morning with Jordan apologies to Bob Dylan Hey, Mr Semi Colon Man play a song for me I m not sleepy and there ain t no place I m going to Hey, Mr Semi Colon Man play a song for me In the jingle, jangle morning, I ll come, followin you.Though I know that evenin s empire has returned into sand Vanished from my hand Left me blindly here, to stand, but still not sleeping My weariness amazes me I m branded on my feet I have no one to meet And the ancient, empty street s too dead for dreaming.Hey, Mr Semi Colon Man play a song for me I m not sleepy and there ain t no place I m going to Hey, Mr Semi Colon Man play a song for me In the jingle, jangle morning, I ll come, followin you.Seen yesterday in the window of a Geneva art gallery, this 1927 painting by Jean Arp entitled Point Virgule semi colon I wanted to buy it on the spot Unfortunately, a the gallery was closed, b a little internet research revealed that it last went for around 900,000 euros.Damn But still, if you feel like giving me a really expensive surprise present you ll now know what to do.From Pico Iyer s essay In Praise of the Humble Comma A comma catches the gentle drift of the mind in thought, turning in on itself and back on itself, reversing, redoubling, and returning along the course of its own sweet river music while the semicolon brings clauses and thoughts together with all the silent discretion of a hostess arranging guests around her dinner table.Spotted earlier this morning by notgettingenough in an article about Waterstones formerly Waterstone s I would have contributed.From today s Independent From following day s Independent Eats, Shoots Leaves The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation is a humorous book about punctuation Who knew punctuation could be so entertaining 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 onon 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, colons, semi colons, and exclamation marks Incidentally, did you know an exclamation mark is called a dog s cock in some circles I did not.Truss writing makes things like how to properly use an apostrophe entertaining, using amusing phrasing and real life examples, offering up rules like Don t use commas like a stupid person It isn t all laughs, however I normally avoid colons and semi colons but I feel like she s given me a greater understanding of them.There s not a whole lotto divulge It s no surprise this short but sweet book is a best seller It s very accessible and as entertaining as a book on punctuation can be For grammarians and writers alike, Eats, Shoots Leaves is a fun yet useful book about fairly boring subject Four out of five stars.