Eats, Shoots and Leaves

Topics: Punctuation, Typography, Question mark Pages: 2 (630 words) Published: November 19, 2008
Question Mark? Exclamation Mark! Comma, Apostrophe’ " Quotation Marks” Colon: Semicolon; Dash- Hyphen - Period [.] ... Punctuation!!!! Who needs it???? Do you really care that the italic typeface was invented by a man called Aldus Manutius the Elder? Is it of interest to anyone that he was also the man who printed the first semicolon? Do you really have to count to two in between two related but independent clauses before you use it? Will not an ordinary dash - like this one - do just as well? Truss’ work provides a caustic statement regarding punctuation in modern society, and attempts to remedy this problem by providing an upbeat lesson in the subject. Lynn Truss' attitude to punctuation is enthusiastic, and outraged, as her subtitle makes it clear. She wants you to become angry at the misuse of apostrophes and misplaced commas. This book is not full of grammar lessons but it’s actually examples of how people misuse punctuation in our everyday life as we pretend that they are invisible. In her book she takes you on a lively and entertaining tour of the comma, the semicolon, the apostrophe, the colon, and the full stop. Then it's on to the exclamation and the question mark. She also includes in her book a forward which is written by Frank McCourt, a publisher’s note, a preface, an introduction, and a bibliography. Her style is very amusing and, appropriately enough for a book on language, it is amazing how she can get an audience attention even if they weren’t interested in punctuation, She knows how to get close to you as a reader and isn't scared to take risks. In her introduction she regrets that marks such as the colon and semi-colon are now much less used than they once were. She also regrets that books are losing their value as the main medium of communication in our society and that newer and more uncensored media is the fate of our punctuation systems. She remarks intensely about the Internet and texting: “Meanwhile, in the world of text messages,...
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