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.
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