Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
By Lynne Truss
(Gotham, Paperback, 9781592402038, 240pp.)
Publication Date: April 11, 2006
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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The spirited and scholarly #1 New York Times bestseller combines boisterous history with grammar how-to’s to show how important punctuation is in our world—period. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss, gravely concerned about our current grammatical state, boldly defends proper punctuation. She proclaims, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. Using examples from literature, history, neighborhood signage, and her own imagination, Truss shows how meaning is shaped by commas and apostrophes, and the hilarious consequences of punctuation gone awry. Featuring a foreword by Frank McCourt, and interspersed with a lively history of punctuation from the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, Eats, Shoots & Leaves makes a powerful case for the preservation of proper punctuation.
Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women’s Journal. Lynne Truss also hosted Cutting a Dash, a popular BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation. She now reviews books for the Sunday Times of London and is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Brighton, England.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves “makes correct usage so cool that you have to admire Ms. Truss.”
—Janet Maslin, The New York Times
“Witty, smart, passionate.”
—Los Angeles Times Book Review, Best Books Of 2004: Nonfiction
“This book changed my life in small, perfect ways like learning how to make better coffee or fold an omelet. It’s the perfect gift for anyone who cares about grammar and a gentle introduction for those who don’t care enough.”
—The Boston Sunday Globe