Eats, Shoots & Leaves is a book about punctuation, its birth, evolution, history, and potential future. Based on the ‘Cutting a Dash’ series that the author did for a radio. It talks about all the punctuation marks, the apostrophe, the comma, the dash, the hyphen, the semicolon, the colon. Some conventions like the use of Italics in the text. And of course the dot or period. Although the book is not very interesting to read. As I took more than a week to read this 200 pager, small sized book with a large font as possible for that size.
But there are some interesting lines in the book here and there, like:
‘In the family of punctuation, where the full stop is the daddy and the comma is a mummy, and the semicolon quietly practices the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets over-excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly.’
‘Proper punctuation is both the sign and the cause of clear thinking’.
‘The purpose of punctuation is “to tango the reader into the pauses, inflections, continuities, and connections that the spoken line would convey”’.
Towards the end, the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves tries to see the evolution of the new generation of punctuation marks. In the era of electronic communication, the ubiquitous smileys. The way the electronic communication uses ‘Smileys’ as punctuation and as an expression. The author being a purist expects that the days of ‘Smileys’ will be soon over. And the genNext would revert back to the good old ways of written communication.
Buy this book – Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss at Amazon India.