1.06.2010

(The Return of) Wednesday Book Recommendation

After taking a two week break between Christmas and New Years, the Wednesday Book Recommendation is finally back. Oh joy. I sometimes wonder why I'm doing this. It's not as if anyone reads these posts (or if you do, you are a lurker - I believe I warned you about that here [wink, wink]), and yet I write them anyway. I've been finding that, even if no one reads any post I write, it's fun for me to write them and a good way to brush up on my writing skills. Peter has been bugging encouraging me to write a book for several years, and who knows? Maybe one day I'll take him up on his suggestion! :-)

Until that happens, I will enjoy reading books and recommending them to anyone who cares. :-)



Today's book is Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynne Truss. This book was given to me by some Scottish friends after a dinner discussion that we had about poor punctuation when we were working in Botswana. I had never heard of it prior to that conversation, but the copy that they gave as a farewell gift kept me entertained on our 20+ hour flight home and will be on my 2010 "re-read" list.

From the back cover
A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.

"I'm a panda," he says, at the door. "Look it up."

The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

"Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves."

So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.

I was reminded of this book a few weeks ago when I walked into a store and saw seveal signs posted, inviting people to make an appointment for their church or school group to come shopping. The signs (done on a computer by some worthy employee) read, "Your Invited". Take a minute to think about it. :-) There was one sign at a check out that had clearly driven the punctuation police nuts. On that one sign a comma and an "e" had been added (in blue pen) so it read, "You're Invited". If only that good punctuation Samaritan had been given a "Punctuation Repair Kit" - like the one that came with my book. :-) It's available on Amazon and you can get to it by clicking on the link below.



Happy Reading!

2 comments:

  1. Well, I won't lurk today. :o) I have this book too but haven't read it yet... may have to add it to my list. I am a bit of a punctuation cop as well! I find myself sitting in church, mentally editing the power point slides during the music. I edit signs, books, magazines, friends' letters (ha!), etc. It's a gift, and a curse... but they'll thank us later. ;o)

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  2. Just wanted to say "Hi!" You have at least 2 readers :) And I am pretty sure that Heather reads it two. I love you're blog -- it is great! Their isn't anything else I wood rather reed. Your the best! Now what book is it that I should reed? I mean read. Ha!

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There are more than 400,000 words in the English language. My only request of you is this: Use them wisely.

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