If your a regular visitor to this site, then you probably love book’s. Their important to you, and you enjoy snuggling up with them, every chance you have!
If reading those lines made you cringe, then I have the book for you. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynn Truss, is a humorous rallying cry for grammarians everywhere. In this book, Ms. Truss asserts that punctuation is an endangered species that must be protected.
According to Ms. Truss:
…what happens when [punctuation] isn’t used? Well, if punctuation is the stitching of language, language comes apart, obviously, and all the buttons fall off. If punctuation provides the traffic signals, words bang into each other and everyone ends up in Minehead.
The reason to stand up for punctuation is that without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning. Punctuation herds words together, keeps other apart. Punctuation directs you how to read, in the way musical notation directs a musician how to play.
Ms. Truss supports her claims throughout the book using history, humor, and real-life examples. Although some portions of the book seemed tedious to me, I found myself laughing and nodding in agreement on more than one occasion. Ms. Truss is English, and many of the rules and examples in the book apply to grammar as it is used in England; however, she does mention American rules and notes the similarities and differences between the two.
In the age of text messages and email, our system of punctuation is facing troubled times. If you find yourself shaking your head at the misuse of punctuation all around you, find a copy of Eats, Shoots & Leaves today. You can comfort yourself with the knowledge that this book is a bestseller in England and America. Perhaps there are a few remaining souls who care about the written word.
Reviewer’s Note: I do realize that I made several punctuation errors in the opening sentences. I was trying to gain your attention. Although I attempt to use correct punctuation in all my posts, it is possible that I unknowingly commit grammatical atrocities on a regular basis. I do try, however, and I do care. That’s why I recommend Eats, Shoots & Leaves, and I support Ms. Truss’ cause by repeating her rallying cry, “Sticklers unite!”
Lauren is a wife, a mother of two, and an avid reader. She blogs at Baseballs and Bows.
Ooh, I LOVED this book. She’s also done several children’s versions on the same theme– specifically about commas and apostrophes, I believe. The accompanying illustrations for the incorrect sentences really cracked us up when my son and I looked at them in a bookstore a while ago. I love her combo of humor and emphasis on correct grammar!
I adore this book and highly recommend it to everyone.
hahaha I’m so glad that first line is a joke! I WAS cringing. You got me! 😉
I’ve yet to read this, thanks for the reminder.
I’ve used the picture book version of this in my classes. It’s really cute!
This looks like a wonderful book… I’m definitely adding this to my list of books to use for teaching punctuation!
Jennifer, Snapshot (and 5M4B) says
You got me on the first line as well. I don’t usually have to edit, but I was reading it before I posted thinking, “Oh no!”
I have this one sitting on my shelf, but haven’t read it yet.
The only problem with the book is you start second guessing yourself. You stop and think is it this or that, even when you wouldn’t have before. It is a very good book though.
Carrie, Reading to Know says
Yup on the second guessing thing!
This book was really fun. I read it a few years back and loved it! Her second book, Talk to the Hand, is equally entertaining but I enjoyed Eats, Shoots & Leaves far more!
One of my favorite books! My sister actually gave it to me as a b-day gift one year, which goes to show just how well my family knows me and my love of grammar/punctuation.
I second Carrie on Talk to the Hand. I think I lost weight from laughing as I read that one. Truss has a great hand with humor.
Sarah at SmallWorld Reads says
Phew! I am glad to know about the purposeful grammatical errors; I almost didn’t read the review because of them!! I LOVED this book and also Talks to the Hand. She is just fantastic!
John Mutford says
I really enjoyed this book but found myself wishing for a Canadian counterpart. Sometimes we follow American rules and sometimes we follow British rules. It can be quite confusing.
I feel your pain of reviewing such a book. I did a while back and found myself second guessing every colon, comma and dash.
Thanks for the review. I’ve had this on my shelf for a while…I’ll have to add it to my pile. B.