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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation Paperback – 11 Apr 2006


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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


Product details

  • Paperback: 209 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham Books; Reprint edition (11 April 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592402038
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592402038
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 1.7 x 18.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (326 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,446,756 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Three cheers for Lynne Truss, the extremely droll sports-writer and comic novelist, whose book Eats, Shoots & Leaves makes the history of punctuation a subject at once urgent, sexy and hilarious...Her book is a joyous call to arms for grammatical sticklers everywhere, and I have signed up with delight (John Walsh Independent)

Eats, Shoots & Leaves has been a surprise UK bestseller. Every company meeting should begin with a reading from it, followed by a prayer of thanks for its existence (Michael Skapinker Financial Times)

[A] witty, clear-headed and altogether enchanting book ... It makes you love punctuation; you want to conserve what is still left and perhaps even call for more of it ... Reading this book put me in such a good mood that I came close to forgiving the people who use that modern punctuation atrocity, the "forward slash". (Oliver Pritchett Sunday Telegraph)

This book will stimulate and satisfy. It's worth it's weight in gold. (Boyd Tonkin The Independent)

It can only be a matter of time before the new government seizes the chance to appoint her [Lynne Truss] as minister for punctuation. The manifesto is already written. (The Guardian)

If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood. As it is, thousands of English teachers from Maine to Maui will be calling down blessings on her merry, learned head for her book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It's a book about punctuation, the poor stepchild of mean old grammar.Punctuation, if you don't mind! 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! (Frank McCourt)

Ms Truss has had enough; to judge from the huge sales this book has had in its first few weeks, she has unearthed a vast army of supporters...If you have not done so already, buy a copy of this book, read it, absorb its message, then give it to a sub-literate friend or colleague for Christmas. (Beachcomber Daily Express)

Lovers of good English have thought of ourselves as isolated outposts...Lynne Truss has emerged as our champion. (William Hartson Daily Express)

Lynne Truss has written a funny and apposite book. (Mary Kenny Irish Independent)

This is a tremendous book: funny, acute, clear and exactly what I need. (Henry Porter)

This book is brilliant. I laughed, I howled, and I immediately wanted to join the Militant wing of the Apostrophe Society. This is great stuff: genuine, heartfelt, and rousing. Buy it for any reader you know - you will delight them. (Jenny Colgan)

The most charming, entertaining reflections on punctuation I have ever read...Rattling amusingly across the mine-studded plains of English communication, from dashes to question marks to colons and commas, Truss's mischievous wit and memorable anecdotes are hugely refreshing. (Rosemary Goring Glasgow Herald)

Lynne Truss is jolly good fun, or at least her book is. This is a book you could just as easily give to a venerable uncle who is a stickler for semicolons or an ignorant whippersnapper with an English GCSE on the horizon. It is both practical and colourful. Read the book, you'll get the (full) point. (Sarah Vine Times)

Lynne Truss deserves to be piled high with honours... she feels a genuine affection for those little full stops and commas, colons and semi-colons. She wants them protected rather than revered, respected rather than worshipped, for the vital job they do. I think she probably understates her case when she argues that people who persist in writing "Good food at it's best" deserve to be "struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave". Lightning strikes are altogether too random. There should be a government task force with the single duty of rooting out such barbarians and burning them at the stake. Happily, Truss is a funny writer and she has an eye for the grotesque. (John Humphrys Sunday Times)

A wonderfully readable little treatise on the uses and misuses of punctuation...witty and entertaining as well as informative. (Terry Eagleton Irish Times)

There are plenty of laughs in this book...but this is more than a witty, elegant and passionate book that should be on every writer's shelf...Lynne Truss's book is as much an argument for clear thinking as it is a pedantic defence of obsolete conventions of written language. Well. Done. Lynne!!!!!!! (Nigel Williams Observer Review)

If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood. As it is, thousands of English teachers from Maine to Maui will be calling down blessings on her merry, learned head for her book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It's a book about punctuation, the poor stepchild of mean old grammar.

Punctuation, if you don't mind! 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!

(Frank McCourt author of Angela's Ashes and Tis) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Publisher

Now out in paperback with a free Punctuation Repair Kit in every copy. Sticklers, please use your stickers responsibly, correctly and legally. This international bestseller, with over three million copies sold worldwide, is fast becoming a modern classic. Eats Shoots & Leaves can be read as a tale from beginning to end and used as a reference guide in moments of confusion. Be prepared to laugh out loud. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Westley on 8 Aug 2004
Format: Hardcover
"Eats, Shoots & Leaves" is not a grammar guide per se, as it doesn't really teach the basics of punctuation. Instead, it's a grammarians dream come true - an enjoyable and illuminating discussion of the history and importance of punctuation (Hmmmm, did I use that dash correctly?). Lovers of punctuation have been decrying the use of "netspeak" with no or minimal punctuation. Accordingly, Truss wrote this engaging book with the rallying cry: "Sticklers unite!" However, Truss does not simply attack the web; indeed, she asserts that text messaging and email have made reading more important than it has been of late. However, to paraphrase Bill Clinton, "It's the punctuation stupid!"
Truss's dry British wit (e.g., talking about wanting to marry the inventor of the colon) is used to great effect in her writing. And amusing vignettes are peppered through the text, including the introduction of the "interrobang" as well as the spread of the "Strukenwhite" virus. She even manages to make punctuation seem, well, sexy. If you've ever found yourself in a spirited debate about the Oxford comma (i.e., the second comma in the phrase "red, white, and blue"), then you'll likely enjoy this book.
Some reviewers have asserted that American readers may be a bit lost; however, Truss is careful about pointing out American versus British punctuation uses. I was never confused. Overall, this book is delightful - most highly recommended.
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66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Mr. P. G. Smith on 4 July 2007
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book IF you have an interest in the english language, its punctuation, the development and abuse of said. This book is accessible, very funny, and well written. Lynne obviously cares about her subject and actually had a long-running national newspaper column on punctuation and its abuse.
If you are regularly infuriated by the greengrocer's apostrophe (carrot's, apple's, etc.) or wonder who invented the question mark (these things don't just turn up out of the blue, you know) then this is the book for you.
Buy it. Read it. Read it again. Bore everyone you know to tears with it. I did!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Khaled McGonnell on 8 Mar 2005
Format: Hardcover
It is critical for anyone who picks up Truss' book to remember that this is a book about grammar. If you write text messages or emails that look like the contents of Alphabetti Spaghetti, then this book will most likely seem a pedantic rant. The truth is, of course, that it is. Truss' point is that grammar is essential to language; she worries that as we write more and more, we're communicating less and less. Grammar lends words meaning, order, and emotion, something she demonstrates par excellance. Applications of grammar are illustrated and taught in a light-hearted but thorough way, leaving one entertained and informed. I dare say the book will actually goad some into reviving their grammar.
This book is not an apologetic, which some reviewers criticise it for not being! It is very much a book connected to people. Truss explains her own personal crusade for grammar. The fundamental argument is that, critically, without grammar people will be unable to connect to other people in a comprehensible way. 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' is a plea, a call to arms to the English-speaking peoples to understand they have a language which can be enhanced, manipulated and nuanced in unique ways with the proper application of grammar.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Beansmummy TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 30 July 2009
Format: Paperback
I borrowed this from the library; what a delight! I did not expect to enjoy it (got it through curiosity more than anything) but it was superb. Very entertaining, especially for anyone who just despises the huge ignorance constantly displayed in everyday signs, emails and official letters.

It also taught me the name of those 3 little dots... (ellipsis in case you cared), and a great deal of other useful punctuation information that I'd forgotten or never knew (ways to use a semicolon; apostrophe clangers...). Definitely a book for sticklers. Those who are too ignorant to care about punctuation will not enjoy the book. Those that make the effort to write well for the benefit of the reader will worship at the feet of Lynne for her clear, informative and very funny book!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By P. Smith on 13 Nov 2008
Format: Paperback
I have for many years been what the author calls a "stickler", i.e. someone who exercises total pedantry where punctuation is concerned. Her book has, therefore, given me the utmost pleasure: whilst reading it I nodded and smiled my agreement at just about every paragraph. In addition, Ms Truss's humour made me laugh out loud on occasion (much to my embarrassment and to the consternation of people around me who observed that I was merely reading about what they saw as boring old punctuation). This book must surely amuse and delight all those "sticklers" who flinch (or worse) when they encounter errors of punctuation (sadly, not just by greengrocers) and should be compulsory reading for all office workers (including the bosses, who dictate commas to their poor, beleaguered secretaries, intending them to go in totally inappropriate places and who have no idea what a semicolon is for). Good on yer, Lynne, and more power to your apostrophe (not to mention your sadly misunderstood semicolon)!

Interestingly, this book gave me reasons for the punctuation I have used (possibly inappropriately at times), as a matter of course over the years without really knowing why, and has corrected me in areas where I was unsure and may have been at fault. It's a book to keep by one's side as a guide for times when in doubt - and who isn't in doubt from time to time? I'm sure someone will answer me on this review to point out where I've failed to punctuate it correctly!!!

I bought "Talk to the Hand" for my husband, who is a "manners stickler", last Christmas and he also sat nodding and smiling (and even quietly commenting, "Oh my goodness, yes!") whilst reading it (or even more colourfully now and again!). I therefore think Ms Truss must have a real talent for getting people to nod and smile (and be even more colourful!!!). Good for her! I urge you to read both books, to learn and enjoy the (very painless) lessons!
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