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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! Hardcover – 1 Aug 2006
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The point is to make children laugh while swallowing their grammatical medicine - and do they ever. (Wall Street Journal)
Lynne Truss is taking primary schools to task in her battle for grammatical correctness (Times Educational Supplement)
A hilarious illustrated version for children highlighting the confusion that can occur when a comma is put in the wrong place...Great for children and adults alike. (The Bookseller)
an amusing, colourful and educational book that helps children to get to grips with that all-important "little dot with the tail" (Observer) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women's Journal. Lynne Truss also hosted Cutting a Dash, a popular BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation. She now reviews books for the Sunday Times of London and is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Brighton, England.
BONNIE TIMMONS is best known for inspiring and creating images for the television show Caroline in the City and illustrating numerous national ad campaigns.
Top customer reviews
While Truss says that 'despair' gave this book its impetus, she does not sound despairing either in print or in person. The title itself is a joke, about an irate panda who walks into a cafe, orders a sandwich, eats it, draws a gun and fires two shots into the air. The waiter finds the explanation for this erratic behavior in a badly punctuated wildlife manual which the bear leaves behind: Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference! tells you the rules, but is also full of jokes and anecdotes. It is a sort of celebration of punctuation. You can't help cheering it on, because it has done such a good job in its humble way. She speaks of the delights of the semi-colon with relish. She has listened to the man from the Apostrophe Protection Society (yes, it exists) but does not sound like a member of any such group. "I was so worried when I wrote the book that people would assume that anyone interested in this subject would be small-minded". --Lynne Truss.
I don't really know where punctuation is going. But this is a very good moment to look at it and see what state it's in. The internet and emails have come along very conveniently for people who didn't learn punctuation and can therefore get by. Punctuation helps give rhythm and a tone of voice to writing, and Truss thinks it no accident that readers of emails often find it difficult to pick up the tone of the person who's written it, with all those dashes. The grace notes get lopped off and it becomes very bald. So people start needing exclamation marks and capital letters, desperately trying to express a tone of voice.
An appreciation by Phillip Taylor MBE and Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers
A great piece of humour and yet with a serious aim, this little book has become a runaway bestseller overnight and rightly so. As Lynne Truss has explained, there are many people who have little idea of the basics of punctuation today. This does not surprise us in the slightest.
As examiners, we have found scant regard continues to be paid to full stops, commas and question marks. However, by far the number one serial offender is the missing apostrophe. The story of the panda eating in a restaurant, then shoots the restaurant up and departs is an amusing story with an important message. The placing of punctuation in the wrong place can completely alter the message being conveyed… at some cost.
“A revolution in punctuation”, this book has been dedicated to the memory of the striking Bolshevik printers in St Petersburg who, in 1905, demanded to be paid the same rate for punctuation marks as for letters, and thereby directly precipitated the first Russian Revolution.
We have come a long way in over 100 years and the main casualty has been the written word. The ‘shorthand’ we have encountered in the last six years using the internet is enough to convince us that this book should be compulsory reading in schools hence a schools edition in 2006 with illustrations.
Besides, this book is a good read and very funny in places. To sell 50,000 copies in just over a week on release is a great achievement! It is true to say that the book makes a powerful case for the preservation of the system of what is interestingly described as ‘printing conventions’. However, this is not a book for pedants but for everyone, including members of the Bar who write lengthy Opinions and the judges who read them. It has never surprised us how cross the Judiciary become when they see sloppy legal paperwork. We expect it from solicitors but we must maintain a very high standard at the Bar, even with the infernal internet and toxic text messages.
Well done, Lynne for reminding us of our legal roots. ‘Sticklers unite’ she says, ‘you have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion – and arguably you didn’t have much of that to begin with’. Do look at the end of the book for a fine bibliography – all the usual suspects are there including one Bill Bryson and his ‘Troublesome Words’, and the excellent Philip Howard’s ‘The State of the Language: English observed.’
“Eats, Shoots and Leaves” remains a 21st century book to treasure for what could become an endangered system.
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The comments make irt seem like a dumbed-down verion of the book; it's actually a very-small set of cartoons and doesn't come anywhere near the...Read more
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