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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation Paperback – April 11, 2006
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Eats, Shoots & Leaves “makes correct usage so cool that you have to admire Ms. Truss.”—Janet Maslin, The New York Times “Witty, smart, passionate.”—Los Angeles Times Book Review, Best Books Of 2004: Nonfiction “This book changed my life in small, perfect ways like learning how to make better coffee or fold an omelet. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who cares about grammar and a gentle introduction for those who don’t care enough.”—The Boston Sunday Globe
From the Back Cover
Praise for Lynne Truss and Eats, Shoots & Leaves:
Eats, Shoots & Leaves "makes correct usage so cool that you have to admire Ms. Truss."
JANET MASLIN, THE NEW YORK TIMES
"Witty, smart, passionate."
LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK REVIEW, BEST BOOKS OF 2004: NONFICTION
"Who knew grammar could be so much fun?"
"Witty and instructive. . . . Truss is an entertaining, well-read scold in a culture that could use more scolding."
"Truss is William Safire crossed with John Cleeses Basil Fawlty."
"Lynne Truss has done the English-speaking world a huge service."
THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
"This book changed my life in small, perfect ways like learning how to make better coffee or fold an omelet. Its the perfect gift for anyone who cares about grammar and a gentle introduction for those who dont care enough."
THE BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE
"Lynne Truss makes [punctuation] a joy to contemplate."
"If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic Id nominate her for sainthood."
Frank McCourt, author of Angelas Ashes
"Trusss scholarship is impressive and never dry."
EDMUND MORRIS, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
Top customer reviews
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I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard at a book. She has some really clever insight into grammar without being overcome by cynicism.
It is interesting to read about the state of grammar in the UK as well. It really defies the stereotype that many Americans have about Brits being stuffy and proper all the time.
Even though it isn't a grammar guide, she does offer some tips on usage. I was pleased she clarified the semicolon and colon issue and included several examples. At the same time this wasn't a "montage" of real-world grammar blunders with her corrects and/or snide comments, either.
But if you enjoy reading about grammar for fun at all, you'll probably enjoy this book. And even if not, you still might appreciate her witty and sardonic style.
And yes, she probably would disapprove of me starting my sentences with "and"...
...and it's humerous too boot!
While the author is from the UK and explains usage common in that region, she also remarks on US usage where it differs. I was surprised to learn that there were regional differences and also that the proper use of punctuation marks is changing--and it always has over time.
In addition to being a book that comments on the use (or common misuse) of proper puctuation it is also organized in such a way that people who write can reference a certain item (do you have to use a period after Mr?) and read up if they have a question.
People writing e-books might especially appreciate this as many write without an editor; a fun book that makes punctuation accessible without suffering through Strunk and White is very welcome.
Since I am a passionate reader and a writer, books about punctuation and grammar interest me. Back when I worked in editorial offices, nothing was more delightful than a debate with fellow journalists on the relative merits of the semi-colon over period. (Some thought that the semi-colon was pretentious.) Going back even further, as a young woman, I was a devotee of the great NYT columnist William Safire and Edwin Newman, the journalist who wrote "Strictly Speaking," one of the funniest books on the hackneyed use of the English.
Based on those esteemed predecessors, this book didn't hit the mark. It was good, and the author is passionate about punctuation, and I did learn a few things. One major issue is that punctuation is not the same on the other side of the pond (the U.K.), where marks have different names, are used (or not used) differently and us colonial types are referred to as "the" Americans as if we were a rather daunting opponent in the war against bad punctuation.
If you are a writer or a grammarian, this book will add to your knowledge. If you are simply looking for some grammatical entertainment, try Mr. Safire or Mr. Newman.
Love the book!
I describe this book as "Mandatory" because I honestly don't know anyone who couldn't benefit from an introduction to - or refresher on - the complexities of the English language.
(Ms. Truss is from England, where there are some differences between "American" and "British" English and she does explain these variations.)
It is no wonder that this book has been a (surprising) best seller.
Most recent customer reviews
The book a) leans toward British rules, which is befuddling, because the author admits that American English commits, 'legally,' the...Read more