'Why?' asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
'I'm a panda,' he says, at the door. 'Look it up.'
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.
'Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.'"
This is most of the reason I chose to read this book. If you laughed at this joke like I did, then you, too, are a "Stickler". This is Ms. Truss' name for people such as myself in her brilliant book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I chose to start my discussion of books with this one because grammar and punctuation are the basis of what we read. After all, it is so much harder to read and enjoy books that have poor grammar or punctuation.
There is another reason I chose to read this book. You see, my former English teacher would randomly recommend books to me based on conversations we were having. Such as, "You liked Pride and Prejudice? Read Jane Eyre." Or, "Oh, you liked the abridged version of The Count of Monte Cristo? Read the unabridged one. It's way better."
The conversation that led to the recommendation of this book all started with my going to the grocery store with my mom one Wednesday. Mom thought we should get some pancake mix, so I grabbed a box without really paying attention to what it said. Later, while unpacking the groceries, I noticed that this particular box was promoting the new Shrek movie. But then I noticed something else in the top right corner.
|I apologize, this was taken with my cell phone. But still.|
So, fellow Sticklers: If you read this and cringed at seeing my photo, read Lynne Truss' book. You will find yourself thinking, "I do that!" or "Oh, I've seen one of those." It will give you a much more amusing outlook on the sad fate of punctuation and grammar in the modern world.