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March 29, 2008

EL150: What a lovely, little panda book.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss

First, I would like to mention that I love that this book comes with a "limited-edition Punctuation Repair Kit."

Second, I love witty writing and this book does a lovely job of delivering that. Yay!

But, onto business...

 

Forward by Frank McCourt

I love Frank's style of writing. It's fun and easy to read because simply put, it's cute. (Sorry if that's not what you were really going for though, Frank.) Also, it really makes me expect greatness from the rest of this book, which I think my expectations were fulfilled.

 

Introduction

I'm not going to lie; I am very much in love with signs that are properly punctuated. Maybe it's because so few are these days that I really appreciate it when someone takes the extra, I don't know...five seconds, to get it right. I understand when someone slips up once in awhile, everyone does. But, it's not that hard to check to make sure you got it right, seriously kids. I liked this section A LOT esp. the quote I chose, "...when teachers upheld the view that grammar and spelling got in the way of self expression."

I'm sorry...what? No offense world, but if I have to read your wonderfully, thought out, self expression paper, that is God's gift to the world of writing, but your grammar sucks, I'm going to look past the wonderful writing part and hope that you start at the fundamentals before swimming in the deep end. Honestly kids, you cannot claim to be a phenomenal writer without knowing the basics of good grammar, when grammar is what makes or breaks the point you are trying to make.

For example (which I found on page nine.)

                  A woman, without her man, is nothing.

                  A woman: without her, man is nothing.

Personally, I'm a big fan of the second sentence. This example is precious. Both sentences have all the same words, but two totally opposite meanings. It just makes me smile, that's all.

 

The Tractable Apostrophe

For those of you that have this book, please turn with me to page 51. Love it! 

For those of you that do not have the book, do not fret, I'll copy an example for you.

     "Nigger's out (on a sign seen in New York, under which was written, wickedly: "But he'll be back shortly")

 

For those of you that do not understand the above, book in hand or not, I'm sorry for you're life and I'll explain it later if need be. Thank you Lynne Truss, you must be a lovely human being. 

3 Comments

Chelsea, you make a good point. It doesn’t matter how creative someone is, they still need to know some grammar or their ideas won’t even be comprehensible to anyone else. Also, when one writes, the first step is always to write a draft, the writer can be as creative as they want in their draft and not worry at all about grammar. But when one goes back and proofreads, the writer absolutely needs to check out the grammar. Whether the paper is creative or not, if the readers can’t even understand what the writer means it is irrelevant how genius the writing is. So good job highlighting the necessity of grammar!

I wrote about similar things in by blog if you want to check it out. I also commented on Angela's blog about a time when I changed a sign because it was poor, poor grammar.

Haha I like those two sentences. It just goes to show how much of an impact proper and improper punctuation has on the way we write.

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