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Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation [Paperback]

Lynne Truss
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 6.94 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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There is a newer edition of this item:
Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation Eats Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation 3.9 out of 5 stars (304)
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Book Description

24 Oct 2005
The international bestseller - at last in paperback and with a new introduction. A witty, entertaining, impassioned guide to perfect punctuation, for everyone who cares about precise writing. When social histories come to be written of the first decade of the 21st century, people will note a turning point in 2003 when declining standards of punctuation were reversed. Linguists will record Lynne Truss as the saviour of the semi-colon and the avenging angel of the apostrophe. 'If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood' Frank McCourt 'This book will stimulate and satisfy. It's worth its weight in gold.' Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'A witty, elegant and passionate book that should be on every writer's shelf' Observer 'Lynne Truss deserves to be piled high with honours ...' John Humphrys 'It can only be a matter of time before the new government seizes the chance to appoint her as minister for punctuation. The manifesto is already written.' Guardian 'She's a soul sister. She's one of us.' Richard Madeley, Richard and Judy

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Product details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Profile Books; New edition edition (24 Oct 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1861976771
  • ISBN-13: 978-1861976772
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 10.6 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 375,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood' Frank McCourt 'This book will stimulate and satisfy. It's worth its weight in gold.' Boyd Tonkin, Independent 'A witty, elegant and passionate book that should be on every writer's shelf' Observer 'Lynne Truss deserves to be piled high with honours ...' John Humphrys 'It can only be a matter of time before the new government seizes the chance to appoint her as minister for punctuation. The manifesto is already written. Guardian 'She's a soul sister. She's one of us.' Richard Madeley, Richard and Judy

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.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly Entertaining 8 Aug 2004
By Westley
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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61 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book for the pedant in your life! 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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Edutainment: a tour de force. 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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67 of 71 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Informative and mildly entertaining 4 April 2005
Format:Hardcover
Punctuation is rather like taxation law - it's a dry old subject but if you don't understand it you can't use it to your advantage. Having left a rather unimpressive comprehensive school at the age of 15, I relished the chance of receiving some, albeit late, tuition in punctuation. And I got it, courtesy of Lynne Truss. OK, professional journalists, English scholars and the like may scoff. They take such skills for granted whilst forgetting that some of us are educationally disadvantaged in this respect.
Although entirely comfortable with apostrophes, I was never really sure on which occasions to use a colon or a semi-colon. I liberally use dashes in my texts as alternatives to commas - but was uncertain whether this was permissible. I now know that it is. Furthermore, I am finally able to appreciate the importance of hyphenation to avoid ambiguity. Thanks, Lynne!
The book was also mildly entertaining but I can't honestly say that I was unable to put it down - especially if there was something more enthralling on the telly. Glad I read it, though.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This woman is brilliant! 30 July 2009
By Beansmummy TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
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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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
By Bobby Elliott VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This little book (204 small pages of large type) is fun to read. The author has an amusing and engaging style that makes it a pleasure to read. You get the feeling that she pretends to be a "punctuation fascist" but actually appreciates the futility of being over-fussy about presentation.
Don't buy this book is you want to learn how to punctuate correctly. Although the book covers the most common errors in punctuation, it's too short to cover any of them in much depth so I'm not sure if you would learn a great deal from reading this book. There are much better books on punctuation if you're serious about mastering it. In fact, I suspect that the book is best for someone who already has a good grasp of (and interest in) punctuation and simply wants to learn a little more about it. I found particularly interesting the historical background to punctuation marks that is scattered across the chapters.
So if you have already mastered punctuation, have an interest in this subject, and you want a light, amusing read then this little book comes highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read!
Got this as a gift for my sister as she is always correcting me! She has enjoyed reading it!
Published 2 days ago by Anna.F
5.0 out of 5 stars Lynne is spot on
I enjoyed this book for what it is - a humorous account of the decline of the formal rules of language. Read more
Published 9 days ago by the Bear
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Did not buy
Published 10 days ago by Mrs. J.K. Plant
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Great value and a good read, funny but knowledgeable
Published 10 days ago by Lis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I do not know what I did before this excellent volume was printed.
Published 13 days ago by Mr. B. E. Wheatley
5.0 out of 5 stars Arrived on time as described very pleased with purchase
Arrived on time as described very pleased with purchase
Published 17 days ago by Allison Dutton
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed with this book
Disappointed with this book. The use of a comma before "and " and "but" is not as I was taught at Grammar School. Read more
Published 23 days ago by Mrs.Josephine Cooper
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent
Published 1 month ago by Karen Dyson
5.0 out of 5 stars Helped inspire my son.
Helped inspire my son. Useful information in an entertaining & readable form.
Published 1 month ago by sir_isaac_newton
2.0 out of 5 stars to the point where they get annoyed about how someone has written a...
Was going to buy for my grandchildren to help them, until I read the introduction, for some people punctuation is something they can't grasp, I am one of them, on reading her... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Bbus
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