Book Review: Eats, Shoots & Leaves-Lynne Truss

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There are two kinds of people in the world, those who punctuate correctly and those who do not. Choose your side wisely.  Lynne Truss states in her book that punctuation should be seen as the “basting that holds the fabric of language together.” I couldn’t agree more. In a world where the printed word often goes overlooked and bad punctuation fills in the spaces, it is important to groom and preen our eye for foolish errors that are made when writing/typing. I love reading about grammar and punctuation, and I try everyday to improve on things I don’t know when it comes to my repertoire of grammar knowledge. Although Eats, Shoots & Leaves isn’t necessarily a grammar book, it does humorously feed all of our grammar and punctuation needs. Truss is a self proclaimed grammar stickler without all the fuss; yet, she is adamant on proving that punctuation does indeed matter.

First, this book is not a grammar book or punctuation guide. It is simply a look at how punctuation plays a significant role in the writing (and reading) world. Lynne Truss writes an epigrammatic screed on how punctuation shapes people’s reading and writing experience. The book is divided into six chapters, all dedicated to one aspect of punctuation. In my favorite chapter titled That’ll Do, Comma, Truss writes about the misuse of the commas in both classic and modern print. “See that comma-shaped shark fin ominously slicing through the waves in this direction? Well, start waving and yelling because it is the so-called Oxford comma and it is a lot more dangerous,” Truss uses comedic witticisms all throughout the book to make being a grammar  nitpicker more relatable and accessible. One can refresh their brain’s accumulation of punctuation, but in no way is this book a teaching tool for those unfamiliar with punctuation. Truss expects you to already know the rules, and is simply stating them for us to laugh at the cretins who do not.  Eats, Shoots & Leaves invites all grammarians alike to have a bit of a reading banter and to be reminded of where people with bad punctuation skills go (maniacal laugh).

This was an extremely easy and fast read. I enjoyed it for what it was worth, but it wasn’t a favorite read of mine. I think I was expecting more of a punctuation guide and Truss did a fine job of reminding me it wasn’t that. I liked the witty overtone this book had, and the author herself has done a lot of  research when it comes to grammar and punctuation. At times, I found the badinage to be a bit much, but it was funny to read nonetheless. I appreciate any book that is about the English language or grammar. I’m happy I read this book and would recommended it to those who also enjoy reading about punctuation and being apart of the grammar army. If you are looking for more of an educational or explanation to punctuation, or would like to know more, this book can’t solve those problems. Served on a platter for people who already have an eye for punctuation, Eats, Shoots & Leaves is simply a fun and resourceful read  about the decline of proper punctuation in the modern world.

Happy Reading!

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