shopgirl97086, October 22, 2008 (view all comments by shopgirl97086)
Normally I don't like writing style guides, they are dull and often difficult to read. This, however, is not the average writing guide. Though this book will teach you the proper punctuation, it does it in a humorous manner. The author is quick and sharp, with a razor-like tongue.
I would highly advise this book as a guide for students, teachers, or anyone who wants to improve the fluency of their writing. It is short and a quick read, but can do wonders for writing style.
If you are looking for a guide that won't bore you to death or put you to sleep--you've found it.
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"Publishers Weekly Review"
by Publishers Weekly,
"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)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
by Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and 'Tis,
"If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood....The book is so spirited, so scholarly, so seductive, English teachers will sweep aside all other topics to get to, you guessed it, punctuation. Parents and children gather by the fire on chilly evenings to read passages on the history of the semi-colon and the much-maligned dash. Make way for the new Cinderella of the English language, Punctuation Herself!"
by Richard Lederer, author of A Man of My Words and Anguished English,
"There is a multitude of us riding this planet for whom apostrophe catastrophes, quotation bloatation, mad dashes, and other comma-tose errors squeak like chalk across the blackboard of our sensibilities. At last we who are punctilious about punctuation have a manifesto, and it is titled Eats, Shoots & Leaves."
by James Lipton, author of An Exaltation of Larks and writer and host of Inside the Actors Studio,
"At long last, a worthy tribute to punctuation's stepchildren: the neglected semicolon, the enigmatic ellipsis and the mad dash. Punc-rock on!"
by Edmund Morris, The New York Times Book Review,
"To her credit, Truss is never pedantic...Her scholarship is impressive and never dry."
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.
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."
In 2002 Lynne Truss presented Cutting a Dash, a well-received BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation, which led to the writing of Eats, Shoots and Leaves. The book became a runaway success in the UK, hitting number one on the bestseller lists and prompting extraordinary headlines such as Grammar Book Tops Bestseller List (BBC News). With more than 500,000 copies of her book in print in her native England, Lynne Truss is ready to rally the troops on this side of the pond with her rousing cry, Sticklers unite!
Through sloppy usage and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots and Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, 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. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From George Orwell shunning the semicolon, to New Yorker editor Harold Ross's epic arguments with James Thurber over commas, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
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 and Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, 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. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
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