Eats Shoots & Leaves

Eats Shoots & Leaves; Lynne Truss; Gotham Books; 2003.

Truss is the Anne Coulter of linguistic prescriptivism; opinionated, unpleasant, unconcerned with consistency or facts, and a master of marketing. A runaway bestseller, this book on punctuation is a terrible guide. It is not organized for reference and it does not follow the rules it prescribes. By Truss’s own standards, there are at least five punctuation “errors” on the first page. (Evidently, the rules she insists others follow don’t apply to her.) Furthermore, the American edition was not altered or annotated to reflect differences in standard punctuation with British English. If I didn’t know better, I’d suspect this was intended as satire.

Still, you gotta salute those sales figures. She does know her market.

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