08 September 2010

REVIEW: Eats, Shoots and Leaves by L. Truss

Author:  L. Truss
Genre / Pages:  Nonfiction, humour, grammar/ 512
Publication: Gotham Books Trade Paper, 2006
Rating:  2nd shelf 
Source:  Chapter's Indigo
lj's plot in one pot:  Amidst witty examples, grammar (specifically punctuation) sticklers unite in this how-to / how-not-to tome from Lynne Truss.

I will probably be happy that I read this book, especially when I need to give examples for Language Arts class.  I think the book seemed a little long, a little repetitive, but definitely funny and helpful.  The examples that the author uses are usually silly - what is her fascination with Starburst (a.k.a. Opal Fruits) - but they are always clear.

There were times when the author could seem a bit patronizing, and you; as the reader, felt a bit below her.  However, I think that I might not be the intended audience for which this book was written.  There were many references I didn't 'get' and as the frequency of that event increased, so did the chance that I would scan until the next interesting tidbit caught my eye.

Hopefully I didn't use too many incorrect punctuation marks (the text reveals bloggers / internet writers to be among the worst offenders) during this post.  Here are a few of my favourite examples from the book.
To those who care about punctuation, a sentence such as "Thank God its Friday" (without the apostrophe) rouses feelings not only of despair but of violence.  The confusion of the possessive "its" (no apostrophe) with the contractive "it's" (with apostrophe) is an unequivocal signal of illiteracy and sets off a simple Pavlovian "kill" response in the average stickler. p.43

In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is daddy and the comma is mummy, and the semicolon quietly practises the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets over-excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly. p.138

For more information on the book / author, click here.

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh...when I got this to my e-mail account, "Pavlovian" was typed out as "Pavolvian" which seemed a little ironic to me given the fact that it was plugged into a paragraph in which the author was ranting about errors in punctuation (not a far cry from errors in spelling). When I came to the site to comment, I noticed the error has been fixed on your site! Good eye, LJ. Good eye, indeed. Props to you for reading this book because quite frankly I would have lost interest early (and I mean, early) on!