Saturday, December 27, 2003

Punctuation: It's a craze that's sweeping the nation.

That nation is England, but the phenomenon is no less interesting for Americans, especially since publishers of the new book "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" are pushing for a similar trend in the United States.

At the top of England's best-seller lists, this punctuation guide by Lynne Truss has mysteriously captured a cross-over audience no one expected. Hundreds of thousands of people are snatching it up. Could the book do the same in the United States? Will it? Penguin has bought the rights for a U.S. release next year.

I'll buy it, but I suppose that's a given with quotes like this:
No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, "Good food at it’s best," you deserve to be struck by lightning, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave.
About the title: It's from a joke about a panda who walks into a bar, fires a gun and walks toward the door. When the waiter asks what he thinks he's doing, the panda throws him a poorly punctated wildlife book: "Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves." Right up my alley (See Santa joke below).

Find a column by the author here.


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