Eats, Shoots & Leaves:
The Zero Tolerance Approach
ABOUT THE BOOK
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.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
LYNNE TRUSS is the author of the New York Times bestseller Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today, or Six Good Reasons to Stay Home and Bolt the Door, and The Lynne Truss Treasury: Columns and Three Comic Novels . Eats, Shoots & Leaves, for which she won Britain’s Book of the Year Award, has sold over three million copies worldwide. Truss is a regular host on BBC Radio 4, a Times (London) columnist, and the author of numerous radio comedy dramas.
A bona fide publishing phenomenon, Lynne Truss’s now classic #1 New York Times bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves makes its paperback debut after selling over 3 million copies worldwide in hardcover.
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 e-mail, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.
In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor 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.
“Witty, smart, passionate.”
—LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW, BEST BOOKS OF 2004: NONFICTION
“Witty and instructive. . . . Truss is an entertaining, well-read scold in a culture that could use more scolding.”
“If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I’d nominate her for sainthood.”
—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes
WHY I LOVED THIS BOOK
Here I am now in my “language” phase: just read back to back The Glamour of Grammar, now this one, and waiting impatiently for my copy of The Great Typo Hunt.
This present book was extremely funny and passionate – I experience the same type of feelings when American library users of all ages come to me, a French citizen, to proofread their essays, and I am absolutely horrified when I realize they have no idea what the ‘ is doing in ‘it’s’, and therefore write ‘its’ or ‘it’s’ following God knows which wind of inspiration. And I am not exaggerating, just as the author shows in here.
Please have a close look at the jacket, at the animals, and read the title with and without the coma. This will give you an idea about the seriousness and fun of the book.
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