Panda eats shoots and leaves book
Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation - Reformed JournalA MANHATTAN real estate broker has just notified me, on heavy stationery, that ''the New York market is remaining vibrant with the goal of buying a home being a principle interest for purchaser's to either upscale or downscale their homes. Syntactical incoherence aside, it is difficult to say what is most annoying about this sentence: the dropped comma, the misspelled adjective, the superfluous apostrophe, the split infinitive, the grating use twice of ''home'' as a commercial noun. I am tempted to reply, ''It is against my principal's to consider such illiterate letter's,'' but doubt that the sarcasm would register. The success of Truss's book in Britain, however, suggests that the world -- at least, that small part of it floating north of France and west of Norway -- does indeed care about proper punctuation. Now it is being rushed into print here, in the hope that we will find it as amusing, and salutary, as our trans-Atlantic cousins do. Salutary it may be, in its call for more concern about how we express ourselves, orthographically speaking.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
In the book, published in , Truss bemoans the state of punctuation in the United Kingdom and the United States and describes how rules are being relaxed in today's society. Her goal is to remind readers of the importance of punctuation in the English language by mixing humour and instruction. Truss dedicates the book "to the memory of the striking Bolshevik printers of St. Petersburg who, in , demanded to be paid the same rate for punctuation marks as for letters, and thereby directly precipitated the first Russian Revolution "; she added this dedication as an afterthought after finding the factoid in a speech from a librarian. There is one chapter each on apostrophes ; commas ; semicolons and colons ; exclamation marks , question marks and quotation marks ; italic type , dashes , brackets , ellipses and emoticons ; and the last one on hyphens. Truss touches on varied aspects of the history of punctuation and includes many anecdotes, which add another dimension to her explanations of grammar. In the book's final chapter, she opines on the importance of maintaining punctuation rules and addresses the damaging effects of email and the Internet on punctuation.
This is a first book in a while I read in russian. You may notice that maybe it's not the best idea to read a book about english grammar in russian language.
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Lynne Truss was on her way to deliver a lecture at the British Library recently when she was reminded yet again that a tremendous gap exists between her natural obsessions and those of other people. Truss replied, when her taxi driver asked what she planned to talk about. But the word didn't compute; he heard something less weird in his head. So it has been a shock to the rarefied system of Ms. Among the legions of the surprised are the executives at her publishing house, Profile Books, who ordered a modest initial printing of 15, books, but now have , in print; and Ms. Truss's friends and family.
It is a wild ride downhill from there. About half the semicolons in the rest of the book are either unnecessary or ungrammatical, and the comma is deployed as the mood strikes. We are informed that when a sentence ends with a quotation American usage always places the terminal punctuation inside the quotation marks, which is not so. Then, there is the translation problem. For some reason, the folks at Gotham Books elected not to make any changes for the American edition, a typesetting convenience that makes the book virtually useless for American readers. The supreme peculiarity of this peculiar publishing phenomenon is that the British are less rigid about punctuation and related matters, such as footnote and bibliographic form, than Americans are.
Upon finishing his meal, the panda stands up, pulls out a pistol, fires several shots into the back wall of the restaurant, and then walks out. Bewildered, the customers ask the restaurant manager what is going on. He hands them a poorly punctuated dictionary and encourages them to look it up for themselves. Eats, shoots, and leaves. That aside, the point of the joke is obvious: poorly punctuated sentences can lead to hilarious, but sometimes also to dire , confusion. Indeed, in her chapter on the comma, Truss even quotes Scripture to make the point. Just what did Jesus say to the thief on the cross?