- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 1 hour and 9 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Penguin Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: October 20, 2004
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0006IU6IM
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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"...
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.
...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.