Are you like me and when writing, have an overwhelming fear of placing that comma in the wrong place? Do you stare at your page, look at the conjunctions and think “Do I or don’t I” in regards to taking that symbolic leap. Do you dread pondering the intricacies of correct grammar punctuation? And really, what possible good can a semicolon do except baffle the average writer.
Well, if you have these anxieties, I have the perfect, non-boring book that will guide you through these grammatical landmines: Eats, Shoots & Leaves. This adult book, written by British author Lynne Truss, discusses the particulars of the 3 p’s: proper punctuation placement. It is a captivating and amusing text that bemoans the deteriorating state of punctuation in both the UK and United States. But more importantly, it also provides humorous examples of what went wrong in sentences and tells the “why’s and how’s” to fix it.
Being ambivalent about punctuation myself, I was thoroughly pleased and entertained with this manuscript. In fact, I was a bit shocked I enjoyed it so much! So, if you need to brush up on your writing skills, I would wholeheartedly recommend this book. Maybe reading it will help you avoid the punctuation police……
“The rule is: the word ‘it’s’ (with apostrophe) stands for ‘it is’ or ‘it has’. If the word does not stand for ‘it is’ or ‘it has’ then what you require is ‘its’. This is extremely easy to grasp. Getting your itses mixed up is the greatest solecism in the world of punctuation. 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.”
― Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation