8.25.2009

#19. Eats Shoots & Leaves

[For the Rules, click here.]

Part of one's despair, of course, is that the world cares nothing for the little shocks endured by the sensitive stickler. While we look in horror at a badly punctuated sign, the world carries on around us, blind to our plight. We are like the little boy in The Sixth Sense who can see dead people, except that we can see dead punctuation. Whisper it in petrified little-boy tones: dead punctuation is invisible to everyone else--yet we see it all the time. No one understands us seventh-sense people. They regard us as freaks.

Author: Lynne Truss

Synopsis: Baffled by society's inability to produce a decently punctuated sign or email, British wit Lynne Truss wrote this book to instruct the world on the proper use of the little marks that make our language read comprehensibly.

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As a stickler myself, I get the biggest kick out of this book. I well know the suffering of coming to the end of a sentence only to find that the period was left off, or of spotting lonely, out-of-place apostrophes in "BOOK'S FOR SALE" signs. The tranquillity of reading can be shattered by a misplaced comma, while the lack of a comma can induce the uncomfortable feeling of having gone a block past where you were supposed to turn.

Ms. Truss is the queen of sticklers, and her writing is punctuated with hilarity as well as all the proper marks.

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