I’ve just finished reading Eats Shoots & Leaves – The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, the best-selling book on punctuation by Lynne Truss. The author does a fantastic job in explaining the importance of the correct use of punctuation, and provides a couple of hilarious examples of the unexpected consequences of poor punctuation.
The book even comes with a Punctuation Repair Kit – a selection of peel-off stickers (apostrophes, full stops, exclamation marks etc) – which the reader is encouraged to use to correct any poorly punctuated signs that may be encountered from time to time.
What made me laugh was the introduction, with Ms Truss claiming:
‘Sticklers never read a book without a pencil in hand to correct the typographical errors.’
This may well be the case, but I would have hoped that Ms Truss or one of her fellow sticklers may have thought it appropriate to run a critical eye over her own work. Earlier on in her introduction appears the sentence:
‘Well, all I can say it, don’t come running to us, because we will disown you’.
Do you think she means, ‘all I can say is …’ ?
I think I must have read that sentence about ten times, as I couldn’t believe that a book that is so dogmatic about the correct use of punctuation would contain a blatant typo, and in the introduction no less. I came across a couple of other clangers in the text which I’m sure would make Ms Truss furious.
Despite the seemingly dry nature of the subject, I found the book very enjoyable and instructive, and would recommend it to anyone with an interest in writing or language.
PS – I’m sure Ms Truss would have a field day with my own grammar on this blog!