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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Eats, Shoots and Leaves

***** Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss. Nonfiction.

This had been in my TBR pile for quite a while. I was pretty sure I'd like it, but wasn't in a huge hurry to read it.

If you've been living in a cave, the subtitle explains what Eats, Shoots and Leaves is about: "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation." Since I'm a bit of a grammar geek (albeit an imperfect and occasionally lazy one), I absolutely loved it.

There wasn't much that was news to me. Ones vs. one's was helpful, though I understand that's controversial. I spent far too much time one day googling to chase down which was correct. For the most part, I vastly prefer the practicality of the British usage of such things as putting punctuation inside or outside quotation marks depending on where it makes sense and whether to add an extra S when forming the possessive of words ending in S:
When did John say "stop"?When did John say "stop?"

I do, however, much prefer the logic of the terminal comma in a list, since it makes it clear whether or not the last two items are separate or a pair.

More entertaining than the facts, however, was the humor. I laughed every couple of pages, and read so many excerpts aloud that my 12-year-old picked it up to read as soon as I'd finished it.

The bottom line here, though, is that this is a very subjective book. If you're the kind of person who knows the difference
between there, they're, and their, cringes at new car's and truck's, and daydreams about taking a Sharpie to the 10 items or less sign, you'll probably love this. If that sounds obsessive to you, and like I should get a life, you'll probably hate it.


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Hmm... This sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.
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