If badly-punctuated public displays cause you to inwardly break down and weep, take up your copy of Eats, Shoots and Leaves and join Lynne Truss’s army of punctuation vigilantes and fight against punctuation abuse.

“Yet there will always be a problem about getting rid of the hyphen: if it’s not extra-marital sex (with a hyphen), it is perhaps extra marital sex, which is quite a different bunch of coconuts.”

page 168

Depending on your level of comfort, Truss suggests arming yourself with:

  • Correction Fluid
  • Big Pens
  • Stickers cut in a variety of sizes, both plain (for sticking over unwanted apostrophes) and coloured (for inserting where apostrophes are needed)
  • tin of paint with big brush
  • guerrilla-style clothing
  • strong medication for personality disorder
  • loudhailer
  • gun

Determined to fight against the encroach of punctuation misuse, Truss is the grammar teacher you wish you had, teaching the rules with a heavy dose of British humor.

Why is this on our bookshelf?

Although there are many guides to writing, seldom do they take the passion for grammar to the ultimate level. Lynne Truss’s book is a playground for grammar geeks worldwide– the ones who debate oxford commas and despair when a sign says “Book’s for sale.”

My copy of the book comes with its own Punctuation Repair Kit, containing 24 apostrophes, 4 periods, “The panda says NO!” stickers and other punctuation marks (although it says the ladder is not included.)

I welcome Truss into the grammar geek and word nerd fellowship with open arms.

Rating (5 stars)

Eats, Shoots and Leaves has the remarkable bragging right of being a punctuation guide that ended up as a #1 New York Times Bestseller.

For good reason too– not only does this guide end up being informative, but it is hard to put down! As a writer, I have many writing, punctuation and grammar guides, but this is the only one that I would read all the way through and for pleasure.

The book’s perfection extends from the dedication page all the way through to the final discussion the future of punctuation.

Lynne Truss’s witty way extends from the text to the examples she uses for punctuation. My only word of caution is that there are some differences between British and American forms of punctuation usage, although Truss points them out along the way.