Eats, Shoots & Leaves By Lynne Truss

A witty approach to the subject of punctuation. 

Instead of just teaching punctuation, Lynne Truss makes fun of the evolution and sticklers throughout history while brilliantly providing examples and explaining the proper forms.

RATING: 3.8/5

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KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • We have a language that is full of ambiguities; we have a way of expressing ourselves that is often complex and allusive, poetic and modulated; all our thoughts can be rendered with absolute clarity if we bother to put the right dots and squiggles between the words in the right places. 
  • Punctuation marks are the traffic signals of language: they tell us to slow down, notice this, take a detour, and stop. 

  • Punctuation directs you how to read, in the way musical notation directed musician how to play. 
  • Commas were first used by Greek dramatists 2000 years ago to guide actors between breathing points.
  • The first printed semicolon was the work of Aldus Manutius just two years after Columbus sailed to the New World, and at the same date and place as the invention of double-entry bookkeeping.  
  • We read privately, mentally listening to the author’s voice and translating the writer’s thoughts. The book remains static and fixed; the reader journeys through it.

  • Using the comma well announces that you have an ear for sense and rhythm, confidence in your style and a proper respect for your reader.

  • “Judge a tree from its fruit: not the leaves.” -Euripides 

Related:

On Writing By Stephen King

6 thoughts on “Eats, Shoots & Leaves By Lynne Truss

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