Nonfiction, Self-Help, Young Adult

Eats, Shoots, and Leaves, by Lynne Truss

ImageOh, I so wanted to like this book…

When one of the ladies in our book club suggested it for our May selection I was excited.  After all, as a former teacher I instinctively cringe at the sight of incorrect spelling and bad grammar.  But, alas…

Most of us have heard the joke.  The panda eats shoots and leaves.

Or does the panda eat, shoot, and leave?

This grammatical conundrum is one of many that is explored in Lynne Truss’s book.  Or is it Lynne Truss’ book?

Grammar and punctuation has its place in good writing and, of course, is essential when making one’s point, but is it necessary to devote an entire book to it?  Some say yes, some say no.  After starting the book and reading it thoroughly, I began to think no.  After all, I love chocolate, but I wouldn’t want to read an entire book about it.

I am one of those people who is constantly shaking their heads when I see things like:

“The dog scratched it’s ear.”  (It should be ITS.)

Or “Someone piled all of the jacket’s into a corner.”  (It should be JACKETS.)

This newly adopted problem people seem to be having with sticking unnecessary apostrophes into regular old plural nouns makes me think it is a comment on the whole of society.  BUT, I don’t find it entertaining to read about.  I don’t want to read about the history of the apostrophe and the evolution of its use down through history.  I’m sorry, I just don’t.

Having said that, the children’s version of this book is pretty entertaining because of its simplicity.  There are pictures to illustrate the meanings created by creatively-placed commas and a teacher might find this book very useful in the classroom.  If I had heard of it while I was still teaching, I probably would’ve used it too.  And the lady that suggested it, who is a school librarian, used the children’s book during our book club meeting.

I wish that was the one we read.  The adult version just gets old very fast.

6/10 Stars

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