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Eats, Shoots & Leaves


Eats, Shoots & Leaves is the title of a book I just finished reading.  It's about punctuation.  I am very tempted to buy it immediately and put it on indefinite loan to my grandmother since I think she'd also enjoy it immensely! 

It's very amusing.  The author, Lynne Truss, is driven to extreme emotions by glitches in people's usage in punctuation and grammar.  This sounds all too familiar.  Though the book actually does teach you about punctuation, giving you the rules and whatnot, its examples are hilarious.  For instance, the author wrote about how, when the movie Two Weeks Notice opened and it shamefully did not have an apostrophe where it should after the word "Weeks," she protested the situation by standing outside the theater with an apostrophe on a stick, aiming it at the proper place.

She also has behaved as a punctuation guerrilla, actually changing signs by whiting out unnecessary apostrophes and adding in necessary ones.  I would like to do this, though I would also settle for distributing stickers that proclaim "this apostrophe is not necessary."  Though I have come up with my own version of that, which I intend to actually print up and use someday: The grammar citation.  Observe.

[grammar citation]


I submit for your approval a couple of quotes I found especially amusing:

--"We are like the little boy in The Sixth Sense who can see dead people, except that we can see dead punctuation.  Whisper it in petrified little-boy tones: dead punctuation is invisible to everyone else--yet we see it all the time.  No one understands us seventh-sense people.  They regard us as freaks.  When we point out illiterate mistakes we are often aggressively instructed to 'get a life' by people who, interestingly, display no evidence of having lives themselves."

--"To those who care about punctuation, a sentence such as 'Thank God its Friday' (without the apostrophe) rouses feelings not only of despiar but of violence.  The confusion of the possessive 'its' (no apostrophe) with the contractive 'it's' (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a simple Pavlovian 'kill' response in the average stickler. . . . Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation.  No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice.  If you persist in writing 'Good food at it's best', you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave."

So.  Language dorks: Get this book immediately.

In other news, I saw a kid at the store today--a kid I had in my class when I was teaching fourth grade. He asked me where the Magic cards were. In a horrible deep voice. Good god, I feel old. . . .


Didn't I just read in your last entry that certain not-so-bright people think you're a little girl and NOW YOU FEEL OLD? *rolls eyes* Hehe. Make up your mind, little one. Neat book. Love the grammar violation picture. You could market that to all the grammar dweebs in the world. [katqueen]

I loved Eats, Shoots, and Leaves! I wanted to read it just based on the title which I saw in the April Book Knowledge piece of crap. =D I've already bought two copies and sent them out to interested persons. The great thing about it for me was getting the sense of how English English is different from American English. [Jane Legit]

Now, I feel all embarrassed about having that extra (though not really grammatically incorrect) comma in the title of the book in my last note. [Jane Legit]

Ha! That's great. [wunderkont]

I want that book. - Ronni

Lynne Truss was just on TV spouting about the demise of grammmar and punctuation in the most hilarious way. Although we freaks of proper communication will always be frustrated, she somehow made it all OK. lil mom Please forgive if I made any errors.

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