From the book jacket: Many punctuation guides already exist explaining
the principles of the apostrophe; the comma; the semi-colon. These books do
their job but somehow punctuation abuse does not diminish. Why? Because people
who can't punctuate don't read those books! Of course they don't! They laugh at
books like those! Eats, Shoots and Leaves adopts a more militant approach
and attempts to recruit an army of punctuation vigilantes: send letters back
with the punctuation corrected. Do not accept sloppy emails. Climb ladders at
dead of night with a pot of paint to remove the redundant apostrophe in "Video's
Comment: Every now and then a book comes along, seemingly from out of the blue, and catches the public's interest. For example, last year Natural Cures 'They' Don't Want You To Know About and Marley and Me came from nowhere to make huge sales. The year before, one of the breakout surprises was Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss, which gained serious momentum in Britain following its publication in November 2003 with a 15,000 print run (by Christmas 2003 500,000 copies had been sold) and hit the USA market with a bang in early 2004.
As Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes (and a former English teacher) so delightfully puts it, "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!
This review is from the April 20, 2006 issue of BookBrowse Recommends. Click here to go to this issue.
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