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Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance…
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Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (original 2003; edition 2003)

by Lynne Truss

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12,454286195 (3.8)243
Member:rightantler
Title:Eats shoots and leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Authors:Lynne Truss
Info:Profile Books (2003), Edition: 1st Edition, Hardcover, 209 pages
Collections:Read but unowned, Stewart's Read
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Tags:Y04, culture

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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss (2003)

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» See also 243 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
I have read this book a few times, and I enjoy each time. As a former English teacher and a self-proclaimed grammar nerd, I found the writing to be laugh-out-loud funny at times. (I think I used the hyphens correctly.) There are some slight differences in usage due to the author's being British, but I had no concerns with that. The history of some of the punctuation we use today is particularly interesting too, and it's presented in an very readable manner. Good book! ( )
  hobbitprincess | Jun 30, 2017 |
I'd like to think of myself as somewhat knowledgeable about punctuation, which puts me in the top one per cent of punctuation-knowledgeable people in the world. Punctuation and grammar howlers on café signs can be amusing at first but how many times can you see a handwritten sign saying something "we use only the freshest of ingredient's (sic)" before you start to lose all faith in humanity?

So Truss has done us a favour with "Eats, shoots and leaves"; we have an amusing educational guide to punctuation that quietly points out what I've been getting wrong about punctuation over the years. ( )
  MiaCulpa | Jun 7, 2017 |
A witty yet insightful book. ( )
  Tatoosh | Apr 6, 2017 |
Having read the picture book version of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" first, I can immediately see how it was the inspiration for the picture book version. Not only does Lynne Truss explain punctuation in a casual and engaging way, but she also uses side-by-side comparisons and real life miscommunications to illustrate the dangers of poor grammar. The introduction starts off describing a "satanic sprinkling of redundant apostrophes" in which an advertisement asks buyers to check out their "book's". The book continues along these lines to cover commas, colons, semi-colons, question marks, dashes, and even hyphens.

The scope of the book is impressive. Though I would never assign the entire book to a class, I might ask them to read a particular chapter depending on where they are in their development as writers. I think the humor would engage students, as would Truss's carefully-chosen examples illustrating the importance of punctuation. Certainly, as with any grammar guide, there is a healthy dose of pedantry. Many of Truss's examples would be perfectly understandable in context: everyone, for example, knows what the seller means by "Book's for sale," even if we cringe while reading it. However, these prescriptive examples are balanced with honest misunderstandings caused by a stray comma or question mark. These examples clearly illustrate the real-world importance of grammar, which is essential to engaging an audience who might not otherwise care.

In case basic miscommunications weren't enough, Truss alludes throughout the text to many historical figures who died "because" of poor grammar. Though not necessarily true, these dramatic facts underscore the dire (and possibly fatal!) consequences of sloppy writing. If that's not enough to scare people into proofreading, I don't know what is. ( )
1 vote akerner1 | Feb 15, 2017 |
Although I would qualify this book as a children's book, I think most ages could benefit from the information given in this book. This book takes the same sentence, and by simply changing where the comma goes, it can and will change the entire sentence. I would highly recommend this book to elementary school teachers all the way up til 9th graders. Though, most adults would be able to gain some knowledge from it as well. ( )
  nseugene | Feb 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 282 (next | show all)
The first punctuation mistake in “Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation” (Gotham; $17.50), by Lynne Truss, a British writer, appears in the dedication, where a nonrestrictive clause is not preceded by a comma. It is a wild ride downhill from there.
 
When [Truss] stops straining at lawks-a-mussy chirpiness and analyzes punctuation malpractice, she is often persuasive
 
The passion and fun of her arguments are wonderfully clear. Here is someone with abiding faith in the idea that ''proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking.''
 
Lynne Truss's book is (stay with this sentence, and remember the function of punctuation is to 'tango the reader into the pauses, inflections, continuities and connections that the spoken word would convey') as much an argument for clear thinking as it is a pedantic defence of obsolete conventions of written language.
added by mikeg2 | editThe Guardian, Nigel Williams (Nov 9, 2003)
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Truss, Lynneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Byrnes, PatIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McCourt, FrankForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nunn, JamesCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To the memory of the striking Bolshevik printers of St Petersburg who, in 1905, demanded to be paid the same rate for punctuation marks as for letters, and thereby directly precipitated the first Russian Revolution
First words
Either this will ring bells for you, or it won't.
Quotations
On the page, punctuation performs its grammatical function, but in the mind of the reader it does more than that. It tells the reader how to hum the tune.
But I can't help feeling that our punctuation system, which has served the written word with grace and ingenuity for centuries, must not be allowed to disappear without a fight.
A panda walks into a cafe.

He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
"I'm a panda," he says at the door. "Look it up."
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."
Last words
Disambiguation notice
This is not the same work as:

1.  "Eats, Shoots and Leaves: Why, Commas Do Make a Difference!", which is the children's version of the book;

2. the various calendars inspired by this book;

3. "Eats, Shoots and Leaves: Cutting a Dash", which is a recording of a radio show associated with the book.
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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Book description
We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, 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. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142800821, Audio CD)

In 2002 Lynne Truss presented Cutting a Dash, a well-received BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation, which led to the writing of Eats, Shoots & Leaves. The book became a runaway success in the UK, hitting number one on the bestseller lists and prompting extraordinary headlines such as Grammar Book Tops Bestseller List (BBC News). With more than 500,000 copies of her book in print in her native England, Lynne Truss is ready to rally the troops on this side of the pond with her rousing cry, Sticklers unite!

Through sloppy usage and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, 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. If there are only pedants left who care, then so be it. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From George Orwell shunning the semicolon, to New Yorker editor Harold Ross's epic arguments with James Thurber over commas, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:19 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Looks at the history of punctuation and the rules governing the use of apostrophes, commas, dashes, hyphens, colons, and semicolons.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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