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Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

Title: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Author: Lynne Truss

I have long had this book with me, reading parts of it, enjoying it, and going back to read parts of it again. Eats, Shoots & Leaves is one of the most hilarious, educating, and readable book on one of the most important part of writing: punctuation. The first time that I picked up to read a chapter on commas, a couple of years ago, I went back to re-evaluate my writing to find that I throw commas randomly in a sentence rather than actually use it! What really is the purpose of a comma? Or, may be there are many?

This book has a chapter each on apostrophes, commas, semicolons and colons, exclamation marks, question marks and quotation marks, italic type, dashes, brackets, ellipses and emoticons, and hyphens. We rarely use a lot of punctuation that we must, and most of the times substitute a comma in its place. We really do lack the comma sense, don't we?

Lynne Truss, in his chapter on commas, dedicates a good portion to discussing the "Oxford" comma, and why it would just be better for all to have it in your sentences! I, for one, absolutely believe that the Oxford Comma is necessary. Like a smart tweet that I saw long, long back said: 
"There are two types of people: those who use the Oxford comma, those who don't and those who should."
Eats, Shoots & Leaves makes you realize your mistakes in a way that ensures in the best way that you remember how to use it the correct way. Filled with an engaging trace of history of punctuation, a relatable discussion on the current levels of knowledge about it (most parts in which you'd identify yourself in the past to have slaughtered the meaningful usage of punctuation marks in sentences), and hilarious anecdotes, the book is filled with activities that help us understand these devices of writing. 

In short, Truss gives you an entertaining workbook that should improve our sense of punctuation. It really does employ a zero tolerance approach! In my opinion, Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a book that everyone would enjoy reading!

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