The latest edition of Lynne Trussís best-selling ode to punctuation combines her wit and insight with illustrations from New Yorker cartoonist Pat Byrnes. Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a humorous look at the past, present, and future of punctuation use in both British and American English. Truss painstakingly demonstrates - by citing other grammar and punctuation guides - how punctuation has evolved since Venetian printer Aldus Manutius set the first standards for punctuation in the 15th century.
Truss devotes a chapter each to examining the merits of the colon and semicolon, the apostrophe, the comma, the dash, and the hyphen. She also gives attention to lesser known punctuation, such as the interrobang, and punctuation that is becoming more popular, such as the ellipsis, which is often used in email and Internet writing.
Throughout, Truss humorously describes her woes as a punctuation stickler. She succinctly and clearly explains the role that punctuation plays in language and how proper use (or misuse) of punctuation can change meaning. There have, of course, been arguments for centuries about proper and improper punctuation usage, and Truss explores those arguments too. Many of her points are accompanied with hilarious illustrations of the trademark panda that was introduced in the first edition of the book.
Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a funny, intelligent guide to punctuation for anyone who isnít punctuation-savvy. For sticklers, Trussís book is a gift from the punctuation gods. For those who think a book about punctuation couldnít possibly be interesting, think again. This book is smart, informative and accessible and had me laughing out loud. But then again, Iím one of the sticklers.