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Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 12. April 2004

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Pressestimmen

“You don’t need to be a grammar nerd to enjoy this one… Who knew grammar could be so much fun?” -Newsweek

“Witty and instructive… Truss is an entertaining, well-read scold in a culture that could use more scolding.” -USA Today

“Truss is William Safire crossed with John Cleese’s Basil Fawlty.” -Entertainment Weekly

“Witty, smart, passionate, it gives long-overdue attention to ‘the traffic signals of language.’”--John Rechy, Los Angeles Times Book Review “Best Books of 2004: Nonfiction”

“Truss’s scholarship is impressive and never dry.” -Edmund Morris, The New York Times

“[Truss is] a reformer with the soul of a stand-up comedian.” -Boston Globe

“ This book changed my life in small, perfect ways like learning how to make better coffee or fold an omelet. It’s the perfect gift of anyone who cares about grammar and a gentle introduction for those who don’t care enough.” -Boston Sunday Globe

“Lynne Truss makes [punctuation] a joy to contemplate.” -Elle Magazine

“A witty look at the amusing foibles of punctuation.” -Reader’s Digest

“Lynne Truss has done the English-speaking world a huge service.” -The Christian Science Monitor

“Witty and playful.” -Time Out New York

Synopsis

A panda walked into a cafe. He ordered a sandwich, ate it, then pulled out a gun and shot the waiter. 'Why?' groaned the injured man. The panda shrugged, tossed him a badly punctuated wildlife manual and walked out. And sure enough, when the waiter consulted the book, he found an explanation. 'Panda,' ran the entry for his assailant. 'Large black and white mammal native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.' We see signs in shops every day for "Banana's" and even "Gateaux's". Competition rules remind us: "The judges decision is final." Now, many punctuation guides already exist explaining the principles of the apostrophe; the comma; the semi-colon. These books do their job but somehow punctuation abuse does not diminish. Why? Because people who can't punctuate don't read those books! Of course they don't! They laugh at books like those! Eats, Shoots and Leaves adopts a more militant approach and attempts to recruit an army of punctuation vigilantes: send letters back with the punctuation corrected. Do not accept sloppy emails. Climb ladders at dead of night with a pot of paint to remove the redundant apostrophe in "Video's sold here". -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine vergriffene oder nicht verfügbare Ausgabe dieses Titels.

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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Es handelt sich hier natürlich um ein spezielles Thema: Zeichensetzung im Englischen. Das macht es aber auch amüsant und einiges lässt sich auch aufs Deutsche übertragen. Die Autorin setzt sich mit dem richtigen Setzen von Satzzeichen auseinander, informativ und amüsant. Wenn Sie also immer schon mal wissen wollten wo ein Apostroph hingehört, was der Unterschied zwischen einem Komma, einem Semikolon, einem Punkt und einem Doppelpunkt ist, warum es "Bridget Jones's Diary" und nicht "Bridget Jones' Diary" heißt und ob im Filmtitel "Two Weeks Notice" nicht ein Apostroph fehlt, dann liegen Sie mit diesem Buch richtig. Wenn nicht: Lassen Sie die Finger davon!
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I had given up any hopes of punctuation being used correctly when that movie "Two weeks notice" came out - crying out for an apostrophe. But when all hope was gone, this book came along.
Anyway, that was my first impression.
Now that I have almost finished it - and I'm having a hard time doing so - I'm quite disappointed. The first three chapters were somewhat amusing, but the author repeats herself all the time. Emphasizing again and again that she is no "grammarian" and giving Americans a roasting. I usually like that typical British sense of humour, but this is just too much. Not funny.
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Format: Taschenbuch
The author is a self-confessed stickler for punctuation, yet what this book makes clear is that punctuation itself is only a few hundred years old, which is modest when you think that writing is much older than that. Furthermore, it is continually evolving, just like language itself. I'm certainly not going to claim that my punctuation is perfect, because I know it isn't. Within Amazon reviews, I deliberately don't use quotation marks around titles (although I use them elsewhere), not least because Amazon's software historically behaved strangely when confronted by quotation marks. Maybe those quirks are consigned to history, but I continue writing reviews without quotation marks for the sake of consistency.

Another problem for the author is my use of CD's to indicate more than one CD, where she says the apostrophe is wrong. I adopted the convention because it is widely accepted and looks better - unlike book's, which I'll never use as a plural; I'll only use in its correct context, for example the book's title. I also tend to use more commas than some people may think is necessary, but I'd rather use too many than too few. Reading this book, it is clear that the rules for commas are imprecise, though there are some situations where the presence or absence of a comma makes a lot of difference.

Over and above my obvious disregard for those (and maybe other) rules, I make errors too, though hopefully not too many. Meanwhile, the author may be a stickler for punctuation but did not research the meaning of a Scottish sentence that she used in her book, simply stating that she had no idea what it meant. (The answer is somewhere on this page.
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Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Now that I've finished the book I wonder why the author wrote it. Apparently only to let off steam about people (especially Americans) who use commas or apostrophes wrongly. Don't buy this book if you're looking for rules on how to apply punctuation correctly. You won't find them here.
The title and summary sound truly interesting - but that's about it. The same aspects are repeated over and over. Sorry, but I just don't get the point of this book. It's a shame that the interesting topic of punctuation has been abused this way. This is like writing an essay on maths and not being able to count to three ... For a "zero tolerance approach" one should understand the logical rules of punctuation - at least the author should. In my opinion some of the examples given in this book are simply wrong.
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Format: 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.
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