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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Praise for Lynne Truss and Eats, Shoots & Leaves:
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
"Who knew grammar could be so much fun?"
"Witty and instructive. . . . Truss is an entertaining, well-read scold in a culture that could use more scolding."
"Truss is William Safire crossed with John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty."
"Lynne Truss has done the English-speaking world a huge service."
—THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR
"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
"Lynne Truss makes [punctuation] a joy to contemplate."
"If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I’d nominate her for sainthood."
—Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes
"Truss’s scholarship is impressive and never dry."
—EDMUND MORRIS, THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
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.
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