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Making grammar fun. Period.,
Rezension bezieht sich auf: Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (Litterature Gra) (Gebundene Ausgabe)
In the tradition of other 'fun with grammar' texts, such as 'Woe is I' by Patricia O'Conner and 'Anguished English' by Richard Lederer, Lynne Truss helps bring to life the simple yet vital piece of communication -- punctuation. Weaving history of use and abuse together in a witty, oh-so-English book, Truss makes light and fun a subject of constant concern, if we would but know it. Victor Borge once had a comedy skit that immediately came to mind when I first started this book, the skit of 'audible' punctuation, in which various pops, whistles and snaps stood for the punctuation that we use in our everyday speech. Just because we don't enunciate it doesn't mean it isn't there!
This point is driven home from the outset -- the very title of this book derives from just such importance in locating punctuation properly. It was once said of a panda bear that it 'eats shoots and leaves' -- however, punctuating it differently, one gets the sense that it eats, then fires some kind of weapon, and then departs, rather than consuming bamboo and green, leafy things.
Truss has a sardonic wit, recommending with British understatement the most horrific sentences for those who abuse their sentences. Truss has little patience (but quite a lot of fun) with common mistakes of the comma, apostrophe, quotation marks, and more. She has somewhat more sympathy for people who haven't learned the fine art of the less prominent punctuation marks: colons, semicolons, brackets and such. However, given the age of such things (some punctuation marks are a thousand years old), perhaps it is about time to start getting things write, er, right.
This is not a long book, and is full of little pieces of wisdom -- to improve one's grammar is to improve one's life, Truss would hold. Certainly, the ability to communicate with language is a primary human quality; the ability to communicate well increases our own sense of self-worth.
It must be accepted that there are different styles of punctuation -- books such as 'Elements of Style' detail these in exacting form (something one will not find in this book. However, on the whole, discovering the differences can be as interesting as any other part of this book, and it will at least show that one is paying proper attention to grammar. While Truss can come across as rather picky, that is precisely the quality one wants in one's editor and teacher of admittedly picayune and pedantic subjects. Try for just one day living life without punctuation!
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