Eats, Shoots & Leaves - Lynne Truss

Rating : 3.0/5
Reason for Reading : Book Awards Challenge

Subtitled "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation", this isn't a grammatical how-to book, it's about the correct use of punctuation. It starts by looking at the different meanings you can give to the same passage of text without changing the words, just the placement of the punctuation. For example compare the two passages:

Dear Jack,
I want a man who knows what love is all about. You are generous, kind, thoughtful. People who are not like you admit to being useless and inferior. You have ruined me for other men. I yearn for you. I have no feelings whatsoever when we're apart. I can be forever happy - will you let me be yours?


Dear Jack,
I want a man who knows what love is. All about you are generous, kind, thoughtful people, who are not like you. Admit to being useless and inferior. You gave ruined me. For other men I yearn! For you I have no feelings whatsoever. When we're apart I can be forever happy. Will you let me be?

It then spends a bit of time talking about the main punctuation marks including the full stop, comma, apostrophe, exclaimation mark, question mark, colon and semicolon. She gives you the correct use of each and then a little time is spent on some examples showing how correct use changes the meaning of a sentence.

It was quite funny in places, but it didn't really tell me much that I didn't know already (except perhaps about the semicolon which I have never used). I think the main problem with this book is that people who already use punctuation are the type of people who will be interested in reading this book. Those who are unsure or don't really bother with it will see it as boring and pedantic and therefore not read it. This mostly defeats it's purpose!


    that last "it's" should be "its" - without the apostrophe! lol!

    this one is on my challenge list, but i've only read part of it so far. i have enjoyed what i've read.