Customer Reviews for

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: Why, Commas Really Do Make a Difference!

Average Rating 4
( 134 )
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(71)

4 Star

(33)

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(9)

2 Star

(8)

1 Star

(13)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Funny and Informative

This book is not a grammar or style guide. This is rather a book by someone who is passionate about language, in general, and punctuation, in particular. If you see a signboard of a shop advertising "CD's, Video's, DVD's, and Book's", and if you see another one declarin...
This book is not a grammar or style guide. This is rather a book by someone who is passionate about language, in general, and punctuation, in particular. If you see a signboard of a shop advertising "CD's, Video's, DVD's, and Book's", and if you see another one declaring "No Dogs Please" and both of them trouble you immensely, then this book is for you.

Such grammatical errors have troubled me all my life, and I found this book not only immensely entertaining but I identified with the author's feelings very deeply. Yes, I do punctuate my text messages; yes, I do use proper capitalizations and punctuations in my e-mails; and the author declares that sadly most of the people do not bother about such niceties.

Funny, informative, and full of humourous anecdotes, Truss's book is an ode to an endangered species: the punctuation. I enjoyed every page of it.

posted by Ghazali on December 27, 2008

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Most Helpful Critical Review

4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Malcolms Review of Eat's, schoots', and Leave,s

I picked up this book with the intention of boning up a bit on my punctuation (I am an English major after all). Instead of finding it an entertaining book about how to use commas, dashes and the like properly I found it an unfocused rant by a vicious grammar bully. Whi...
I picked up this book with the intention of boning up a bit on my punctuation (I am an English major after all). Instead of finding it an entertaining book about how to use commas, dashes and the like properly I found it an unfocused rant by a vicious grammar bully. While I understand that grammar education is not in the state it should be, Truss' argument for proper grammar is killed by her abrasive rhetoric, overt priggishness, and generally unsavory attitude. Instead of accomplishing her (apparent) goal to galvanize those who have punctual tendencies she pushes away anyone with social awareness. I, for one, plan to put apostrophes in the wrong places just to spite her.

posted by Malcolm_Q on May 18, 2011

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  • Posted December 27, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Funny and Informative

    This book is not a grammar or style guide. This is rather a book by someone who is passionate about language, in general, and punctuation, in particular. If you see a signboard of a shop advertising "CD's, Video's, DVD's, and Book's", and if you see another one declaring "No Dogs Please" and both of them trouble you immensely, then this book is for you. <BR/><BR/>Such grammatical errors have troubled me all my life, and I found this book not only immensely entertaining but I identified with the author's feelings very deeply. Yes, I do punctuate my text messages; yes, I do use proper capitalizations and punctuations in my e-mails; and the author declares that sadly most of the people do not bother about such niceties. <BR/><BR/>Funny, informative, and full of humourous anecdotes, Truss's book is an ode to an endangered species: the punctuation. I enjoyed every page of it.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2008

    Response to 'Concerned Parent'

    It is clear that this person mistakenly read 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation' (this book is definitely intended to be read by adults) and not the milder children version 'Eats, Shoots& Leaves: Why, Commas really do make a difference!' which was intended as required reading for students. The book intended to instruct children on the importance of commas in writing is a worthwhile and well-written text.

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Malcolms Review of Eat's, schoots', and Leave,s

    I picked up this book with the intention of boning up a bit on my punctuation (I am an English major after all). Instead of finding it an entertaining book about how to use commas, dashes and the like properly I found it an unfocused rant by a vicious grammar bully. While I understand that grammar education is not in the state it should be, Truss' argument for proper grammar is killed by her abrasive rhetoric, overt priggishness, and generally unsavory attitude. Instead of accomplishing her (apparent) goal to galvanize those who have punctual tendencies she pushes away anyone with social awareness. I, for one, plan to put apostrophes in the wrong places just to spite her.

    4 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 30, 2011

    Read my review

    Let's eat grandma ........ or Let's eat, Grandma .... get the joke!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2008

    Punctuation is fun!

    Lynne Truss makes punctuation fun! I couldn't put this book down, nor could I stop laughing out loud! If you already love punctuation, you'll love this book. If you're trying to brush up on punctuation, this book makes it fun to learn. Read it!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 22, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Punctuation Power!

    Lynne Truss' book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, offers a comical and delightful approach to the importance of proper punctuation and grammar. This book gives readers laugh-out-loud examples of improper sentence punctuation as well as other examples of improper punctuation that may lead to the misunderstanding of an intended message. *Funny and educational.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2008

    Appropriate for ages six to eight?

    This book is required reading for my daughter's sixth-grade class. I have recommended that it be pulled from the reading list. Discussions of involuntary ejaculations, and references such as 'dog's cock', 'raw sex' and the most unsavory African American ethnic slur are not acceptable reading for children of a young age. I am only sorry I was not exposed to this pitiful attempt at humotous education earlier. I am embarrassed for us all.

    2 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2008

    I could not have been more wrong

    Yes, that's right, 5 Stars for a book about proper punctuation. I fully expected to get through this book only for my 2008 Challenges. In my mind's eye I saw myself reading a page or two and then falling sound asleep from boredom. I could not have been more wrong. Not only does Lynne Truss make punctuation interesting, she makes it funny. She knows just were little punctuation puns fit. Who knew there were 17 proper uses for the apostrophe?! There was, at onetime, a movement to have a special mark to indicate a rhetorical question. As is stated on the front flap, 'Through sloppy usage and low standards on the Internet, in e-mail, and now 'txt msgs', we have made proper punctuation an endangered species.' [not to mention proper spelling] I've given this book 5 Stars not only because I enjoyed it, but because I think all of us who have been out of the classroom for 10 years or more could use a refresher.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 31, 2008

    Changed my life, this one

    It did just that. I was always good at grammar and understood it and such, but never has a book impacted me so much 'maybe Harry Potter but even that didn't stick after Deathly Hallows came out' as Eats, Shoots, and Leaves. My middle school Language Arts suggested it, and I read her copy and LOVED it. I recently went out and bought my own to refer back to. Definately read it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2007

    Funny

    Definitely worth the couple hours to read. Entertaining and informative. All middle school students should read.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 17, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    the book was a revelation

    Seriously, when was the last time you read a book where you could literally say, "This book has changed my life." Eat, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss is one such book.

    At first I thought a zero tolerance approach to punctuation sounded a bit extreme. That is until Truss mentioned one of my favorite movies ("Two Weeks Notice"), pointing out that the title should be "Two Weeks' Notice". I was shocked. I had always assumed an apostrophe was there. Then I started listening to The Plain White T's, a band whose name makes no sense with an apostrophe, and I knew things were getting serious.

    Nonetheless I will admit that it was a challenge reading the chapters about the apostrophe and the comma (although I have learned a few knew tricks for commas). Then I came to a chapter entitled "Airs and Graces." From there onward, the book was a revelation.

    I learned my punctuation from my mom and copious reading. I still have a hard time explaining dependent clauses and why it is appropriate to use "well" instead of "good" even though I can tell when a sentence is complete/written correctly if I can read it. I am sharing this background so that when I say Truss explains all of the punctuation rules presented in her book you will know I mean really clear.

    Truss has illustrated that there is a time and place for the dash and double-dash in all good literature. She has also shown that, to avoid over-using the dash, a colon can easily replace a dash in certain situations. I never knew that!

    What's nice about Eats, Shoots and Leaves is that it's not a dry read. Yes, Truss is talking about punctuation. Yes, she is deadly serious about it. But she maintains a sense of humor throughout: including witty examples and poking fun at punctuation (and punctuation sticklers) as much as she explains it. In addition, Truss includes abundant historical information about the punctuation marks she discusses ranging from the first names for parentheses to the first appearance of an apostrophe in printed documents.

    I would recommend this book highly to anyone with an interest in writing. Even if you know the basics, Truss has a few tricks up her sleeve that are sure to give your writing a little extra flair.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great book.

    I never thought a book like this would be good. But, it is a book you can't put down. And, I really enjoyed this. You have to go and read this one. Just for the fun of it if nothing else.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 5, 2009

    A must have for every child!!

    A teacher recommended this book. My kids love it. It makes learning fun. MUST HAVE!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Review of Eats, Shoots & Leaves

    Grammarians all over the world, unite! Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss is a book everyone with a pulse should own. If you love the written word as I do, you most likely have a passion for punctuation as well. Truss weaves humor into a beautifully written English lesson, and if you can get past her obvious disgust for American English (okay, let¿s face it, you just need to get past it already), you¿ll find the true gem that¿s cleverly hidden amongst the satire.<BR/><BR/>With chapters titled ¿The Seventh Sense¿, ¿That¿ll Do, Comma¿ and ¿Cutting a Dash¿ (which is also the name of a BBC Radio 4 series), Truss turns learning about the proper use of punctuation into lively reading. The fast passed energetic vocabulary literally jumps off the page and engages you right from the start.<BR/><BR/>Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a highly recommended read for scholars and professors alike; and for anyone named Tom, Dick or Harry. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I am not a pickled herring salesman!

    Lynn Truss, a proud, self-proclaimed snobbish pedant, makes no bones about the fact that her short book, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is really an extended essay on pedantry - a style book, a prescriptive grammar, a manifesto, a rant and, perhaps saddest of all, a eulogy - bemoaning the demise of the correct use of punctuation in the written English word today. <BR/><BR/>As a reader, writer and speaker who, frankly, takes pride in an extensive vocabulary and takes pains to use our magnificent language correctly, I found myself nodding vigorously in agreement as Truss eloquently spoke about the purpose of correct punctuation. She helps us to understand that commas, apostrophes, colons and the other denizens of our pantheon of punctuation marks are aids and signs on a road map for communication without misunderstanding. They are an invaluable assistance to reading out loud with the proper interpretation, lilt and intonation that an author intended in the same fashion as a well annotated musical score enables a musician to interpret music as a composer meant it to be played. <BR/><BR/>"Eats, Shoots and Leaves" also provides us with snippets of the history of punctuation. I wager that few of us were aware that the apostrophe first appeared as early as the 16th century. <BR/><BR/>If history and a pedantic rant delivered with a school marm attitude, a baleful glare and a wrathful wagging finger were all we got from a reading of "Eats, Shoots and Leaves", I'm sure most of us would have yawned in complete boredom and Lynn Truss's novel would not likely have reached the list of best sellers. But, thankfully, "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" is also liberally sprinkled with a very healthy dose of dry as dust British wit, humour and sarcasm that hit my funny bone with a full-sized mallet. One of my favourites was the story of a community group who had built an enormous playground for the children of their neighbourhood and advertised it with the sign "GIANT KID'S PLAYGROUND". To the amazement of the group that had built the facility, it was hardly ever used. Lynn Truss, with tongue in cheek, suggested it was probably because everyone was terrified of meeting the giant kid. <BR/><BR/>By the way, the much maligned salesman of this review's title is actually a complete tee-totaller. He is, however, a very exceptional pickled-herring salesman! (If you'll forgive my mixed metaphors, a very different kettle of fish, indeed). This witty little example shows how the poor, lowly, and much misunderstood dash can eliminate any possibility of misunderstanding the sentence. <BR/><BR/>Highly recommended. <BR/><BR/>Paul Weiss

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2008

    RULES OF PUNCTUATION: AN ENDANGERED SYSTEM

    This is a great piece of humour and yet with a serious aim, this little book has become a runaway bestseller overnight. As Lynne Truss has explained, there are many people who have little idea of the basics of punctuation. This does not surprise me in the slightest. As an examiner, I have found scant regard paid to full stops, commas and question marks. However, by far the number one serial offender is the missing apostrophe. The story of the Panda who eats in a restaurant, then shoots the restaurant up and departs is an amusing story with an important message. The placing of punctuation in the wrong place can completely alter the message being conveyed¿at some cost. REVOLUTION IN PUNCTUATION. The book is dedicated to the memory of the striking Bolshevik printers in St Petersburg who, in 1905, demanded to be paid the same rate for punctuation marks as for letters, and thereby directly precipitated the first Russian Revolution. We have come a long way in nearly 100 years and the main casualty has been the written word. The `shorthand¿ I have encountered in the last six years using the Internet is enough to convince me that this book should be compulsory reading in schools. Besides, it is a good read and very funny in places. To sell 50,000 copies in just over a week on release is a great achievement. LEARNED OPINIONS. It is true to say that the book makes a powerful case for the preservation of the system of what is interestingly described as `printing conventions¿. However, this is not a book for pedants but for everyone, including members of the Bar who write lengthy Opinions. It has never surprised me how cross the Judiciary become when they see sloppy legal paperwork. I expect it from solicitors but we must maintain a very high standard at the Bar, even with the infernal Internet and toxic text messages. Well done, Ms Truss for reminding us of our legal roots¿ `sticklers unite¿ she says, `you have nothing to lose but your sense of proportion ¿ and arguably you didn¿t have much of that to begin with¿. Do look at the end of the book for a fine bibliography ¿ all the usual suspects are there including one B Bryson and `Troublesome Words¿, and the excellent Philip Howard¿s `The State of the Language: English observed.¿ Phillip Taylor MBE. Abbey & Richmond Chambers.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2007

    A reviewer

    Having only recently come to live in Britain from Jamaica I thought we were poor on our use of the English Language. Well now I know that a whole lot of people here, including professionals, badly need to read this book and take notes.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 18, 2007

    Astounding!

    This book is hilarious and informative - anyone who says differently must be an incredibly boring person. Truss didn't write it to be used as a textbook (she even said that!), but as an entertaining work. I feel sorry for anyone that scoffed at it, nose in the air. Try to enjoy life a little more!!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2006

    It was fantastic!

    It is the perfect book to sit and read if you need a laugh. Lynn Truss was brilliant. Even though I am from the U.S.A and it was written about British grammar, I enjoyed it all the same. I'd like to take her advice and protest against incorrect grammer with an apostrophe on a stick. Sticklers unite!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2005

    Love this book

    I finally found someone as obsessed with grammar and punctuation as I am! I now want to take Lynne Truss' advice and walk around with a giant black marker to put apostrophes in the words that are missing them on public signs.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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