Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Our bias about the importance of rhetorical precision has been discussed and emphasized in other blogs. Hard to believe it took us almost ten years to read Lynne Truss’s book, “Eats, Shoots and Leaves”. Her primary chapter topics include the use or abuse of apostrophes, commas, dashes, and other. To understand the title, capture a copy yourself and note the logic that follows “A panda walks into a café . . .” Here are some of our favorite examples, copied dot for dot from the book, to prove the importance of a single dot of ink and how it could affect building consensus.
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
“A re-formed rock band is quite different from a reformed one. Likewise, a long-standing friend is different from a long standing one. A cross-section of the public is quite different from a cross section of the public.”
Is it extra-marital sex or extra marital sex?
Is it a pickled-herring merchant or a pickled herring merchant?
If you are sensitive to details, you will enjoy this book, light reading or reading under a light. As Joseph Robertson wrote in 1785, “The art of punctuation is of infinite consequence in writing (NOTE: facilitative documenting); as it contributes to the perspicuity, and consequently to the beauty, of every composition.” This is one self-help book that gives you permission to love punctuation.
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- Learning to Use Punctuation (emilyjanuary.wordpress.com)
- How to Structure and Normalize a Discussion Around a “Many to Many” Dilemma (mgrush.com/blog)
- Beguiling Grammar (writeatyourownrisk.wordpress.com)