Saturday, September 03, 2005

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

My daughter Laura complains about my writing. My sentences are too short. Their structure is too simple. It looks pretty boring.

I have intended to read Eats, Shoot & Leaves by Lynne Truss since it came out in the United States in 2004. Now that I have, I have some more ideas to improve my writing: use more punctuation. I will start again.

My daughter Laura complains about my writing: my sentences are too short; their structure is too simple; it looks “pretty boring”. [Note British positioning of these marks.]

I wish I had read Eats, Shoots & Leaves earlier: it is very entertaining -­ I didn’t laugh out loud, but Bonnie did - and is full of useful punctuation advice. I now know why I have been confused about the use of quotation marks with other punctuation marks at the ends of sentences: the British and Americans have different rules; I read both. It might be interesting to compare British and American editions of books (will I ever have such time?) to see if the editors have changed the punctuation.

It would be nice if this book had an index to facilitate re-finding the rules and illustrations. Oh! It would be nice to have a package of Starburst (once called Opal Fruits), too!

Truss, Lynne. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. New York: Gotham Books, 2004. ISBN 1592400876

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