Quantcast

#73 ~ Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Eats, Shoots & Leaves Cover

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss

Never before have I read a book about grammar or punctuation that regularly made me laugh out loud until I picked up this book. Although it is about grammar and punctuation it, in a way, reads like a great memoir. I had so much fun reading this book that I’m sad that it’s over. I can’t believe I’m writing this even as I’m writing it. This book makes me glad and somewhat proud that I care about such things at all.

Several things made me laugh out loud. The story of the gentleman who was hanged on a comma was just terrific. I can’t believe that someone actually tried to argue that he didn’t commit treason based upon the comma placement in the law. It was absolutely hilarious. Who could have thought that a punctuation mark might have created a technicality like that? Can you imagine hanging all your hopes on that? Poor, poor fellow. In addition to the stories, I often laughed when Truss later used them in her examples. She told the story of a pen pal she had from Michigan (that caught my attention). She didn’t have a high opinion of this American because of her penmanship and grammar, but looking back as an adult, she has deep remorse for the way she wrote to her. After the story she moved on and I had put the forsaken Michigander out of my mind. At the end of the chapter she used her pen pal in an example that made me laugh out loud and startle my children. How wonderful is that for a book about punctuation?

As much as I loved this book, I am certain that my writing would not live up to Truss’ standards. I don’t know that I ever will necessarily, but I’ve taken a lot out of this book about writing in general. I hope that I will continue to grow in my writing as a result. I am equally glad that there are people who put so much thought and energy into punctuation as I am that I’m not one of them.

**********
To buy this book, click here.

10 Comments

  • At 2008.05.30 09:34, fyreflybooks said:

    After reading Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, I got hyper-paranoid about my own writing – is that the right kind of dash? Should I be using a semi-colon instead? – and think I wound up over-correcting my writing and making it worse than it was originally. 🙂

    Read more from fyreflybooks

    Katarina Bivald – The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

    31. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend by Katarina Bivald, translated by Alice Menzies (2013; translation 2015) Length: 402 pages Genre: General Fiction Started: 19 June 2016 Finished: 22 June 2016[…]

    • At 2008.05.30 10:16, Devourer of Books said:

      I need to find this book at a library sale or something. Maybe bookmooch. I really would like to read it, but not enough to pay anything significant for it…

      Read more from Devourer of Books

      Don’t Miss Any Posts – Subscribe To My Self-Hosted Site!

      A little over a year ago I moved my blog to a self-hosted site.  I paid WordPress to forward my traffic from this blog to that one for one year.  I just realized that the year has been up for a litt[…]

      • At 2008.05.30 10:45, Devourer of Books said:

        Okay, I mooched it!

        Read more from Devourer of Books

        Don’t Miss Any Posts – Subscribe To My Self-Hosted Site!

        A little over a year ago I moved my blog to a self-hosted site.  I paid WordPress to forward my traffic from this blog to that one for one year.  I just realized that the year has been up for a litt[…]

        • At 2008.05.30 15:02, Literate Housewife said:

          Fyrefly I worry about that a little bit, too – especially with commas.

          Dev I don’t think you’ll be disappointed at all. It’s the kind of book you can read bits and pieces as you have time. I’m glad you were able to mooch it. I’m keeping my copy. I’m sure that I’ll re-read it from time to time.

          Read more from Literate Housewife

          It’s Arrived ~ Time to Change Your Links and Feeds

          Be the first to see The Literate Housewife Review at its new home: http://literatehousewife.com/.  I just activated the site and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks. This will be my last p[…]

          • At 2008.05.30 23:47, Heather.PNR said:

            I’ve seen this book pop up here and there over the years. I think your review finally pushed me to actually read it!

            • At 2008.05.31 07:10, Literate Housewife said:

              Heather, let me know what you think when you finish it. I hope that you like it as much as I did.

              Read more from Literate Housewife

              It’s Arrived ~ Time to Change Your Links and Feeds

              Be the first to see The Literate Housewife Review at its new home: http://literatehousewife.com/.  I just activated the site and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks. This will be my last p[…]

              • At 2008.06.01 11:56, Charles McCardell said:

                After reading Louis Menand’s review of the book in the New Yorker, I wrote the following:

                There once was a lady named Truss
                Who started a literary fuss;
                Now known as the “Momma”
                Of the overwrought comma,
                My colon she sweetly may buss!

                • At 2008.06.01 23:15, Literate Housewife said:

                  Charles, I love it! Thanks for sharing it!

                  Read more from Literate Housewife

                  It’s Arrived ~ Time to Change Your Links and Feeds

                  Be the first to see The Literate Housewife Review at its new home: http://literatehousewife.com/.  I just activated the site and I can’t wait to see what everyone thinks. This will be my last p[…]

                  • At 2008.10.20 19:47, Bradley said:

                    Don’t feel bad if you’re not up to this book’s standards. Any writing book that can’t get through the sub-title without committing a grammar error isn’t an example that you want to follow. Better books on writing are easy to find.

                    • At 2009.06.05 15:16, Rose City Reader said:

                      Good review!

                      This was a terrific book. And the title has always been one of my favorite jokes.

                      Rose City Reader’s last blog post..Review of the Day: March

                      (Required)
                      (Required, will not be published)

                      %d bloggers like this: