Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

( 9 )

Overview

We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for ...
See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers and in stores.

Pick Up In Store Near You

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (216) from $1.99   
  • New (4) from $45.00   
  • Used (212) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 2 of 4
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(136)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$45.00
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(136)

Condition: New
Brand new.

Ships from: acton, MA

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing 1 – 2 of 4
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
Read More Show Less

What People Are Saying


If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I'd nominate her for sainthood. As it is, thousands of English teachers from Maine to Maui will be calling down blessings on her merry, learned head for her book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It's a book about punctuation, the poor stepchild of mean old grammar. Punctuation, if you don't mind! The book is so spirited, so scholarly, so seductive, English teachers will sweep aside all other topics to get to, you guessed it, punctuation. Parents and children gather by the fire on chilly evenings to read passages on the history of the semi-colon and the much-maligned dash. Make way for the new Cinderella of the English language, Punctuation Herself! — Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes and Tis
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781861976123
  • Publisher: Profile Books Limited
  • Publication date: 11/6/2003
  • Pages: 228
  • Product dimensions: 5.26 (w) x 7.66 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women’s Journal. Lynne Truss also hosted Cutting a Dash, a popular BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation. She now reviews books for the Sunday Times of London and is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Brighton, England.

Read More Show Less

Interviews & Essays

A Message from the Author

At first glance, punctuation looks like a pretty small subject, I admit. When I first started to tell people I was writing a funny book about it, the reaction was generally the same: a puzzled frown, a pat on the shoulder, and the caring question, "You know this is commercial suicide?"

What is there to say about punctuation, after all (they said)? It is merely a set of conventional printers' marks which notate the written word. These marks are small; nobody under the age of thirty knows how to use them anymore; many sensible people are advocating that we drop them altogether. Worst of all, punctuation is so old-fashioned! If you go round publicly defending the apostrophe, for Pete's sake (they continued, their voices rising), don't you realise how uncool you'll be?

Whether I was wise to ignore these warnings only time will truly tell. I went ahead and wrote my book on punctuation anyway -- and, blimey! In the UK alone it has sold half a million copies in three months! Why? Well, I have three theories. First, punctuation is self-evidently in peril (look around and you will find cards printed with SEASONS GREETING'S, signs to MENS ROOM, films called TWO WEEKS NOTICE) -- and it turns out that there are millions of sensitive (older) people who feel actual pain when they are forced to swallow such illiterate stuff. Second, bad teaching of grammar has left a generation of clever young people clueless about how to use the written word correctly -- so they turn to Eats, Shoots & Leaves for painless instruction. Third, buyers think it is actually about pandas and are too embarrassed to take it back when they realise their mistake.

There have been many grammatical books about punctuation before, of course. The difference with Eats, Shoots & Leaves is that it's a mixture of essay, polemic, history and grammar, with the main emphasis on stories about James Thurber and Harold Ross at The New Yorker threatening each other with ash-trays over the second comma in "Red, white, and blue". Punctuation turns out to be a far from anodyne subject. Nicholson Baker eulogises the "commash" (comma with a dash); George Orwell loathes the semicolon; Gertrude Stein abominates every punctuation mark you can think of. And people have died because of punctuation, it turns out. In 1916, the Irish insurrectionist Sir Roger Casement was "hanged on a comma" (the punctuation of the 1351 Act of Treason being decisive in his death sentence). Meanwhile, at the more trivial end of things, a member of a New England reading group once delightfully misplaced Shakespeare's punctuation so that King Duncan, in Macbeth, listened to the words of the wounded soldier in Act One and then announced with relish, "Go get him, surgeons!" (It's supposed to be "Go, get him surgeons.")

Does punctuation matter? I think so. And I think its demise is just the most obvious manifestation of a growing -- and overwhelmingly depressing -- disrespect for precision in language. By a tragic coincidence, understanding of the traditional techniques of the written word has plummeted just at the point when -- with the internet, email, and text messaging -- people are writing more than ever before. Of course there are good arguments for abandoning old printers' marks in this context. But at the same time as I reluctantly acknowledge that language must move on, I'm so glad that it occurred to me to look at punctuation and celebrate it before it goes. It is a wonderful system, you see. It is elegant and simple; both an art and a science. Its purpose is to "tango the reader into the pauses, inflections, continuities and connections that the spoken line would convey."

There is a panda on the cover because of the fine panda joke that gave rise to the title, yet perhaps there was more than serendipity in the way our black-and-white friend reminds us that punctuation is a truly endangered species. Sometimes I feel like a lone explorer who has discovered Venice just on the point of it sinking into the lagoon, and is frantically taking pictures of it from every angle, saying, "But it's so beautiful! Look at the way the water reflects on that canal wall! The domes! The Campanile! The gondolas! Yes, Venice is old-fashioned (and shaped like a comma, as it happens), but what a shame it all has to go this way!" --Lynne Truss

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(5)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    This had been on my must read list for some time

    Glad to pick up this new printing and I can't stop laughing at all of the hilarious anecdotes and turn of phrases.

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

    Posted December 11, 2003

    Punch your what ?

    Don't schools teach punctuation any more ? This witty book lists numerous examples of the level of illiteracy to which so many have plunged over the past few decades. 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves' refers to a description of the Giant Panda, which we now all know, is in the habit of killing the staff before leaving a restaurant after a meal. (There, but for the grace of a lowly comma, would I have gone on several occasions). 'Mens Toilets', Pupil's Entrance', 'Lady's Lingerie', 'Dicks in Tray' - they're all there, many of them painstakingly crafted in expensive-looking signboards. Read, mark, learn and inwardly digest ; and, for God's sake, TEACH !

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

    Posted March 27, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)