Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

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We all know the basics of punctuation. Or do we? A look at most neighborhood signage tells a different story. Through sloppy usage and low standards on the internet, in email, and now text messages, we have made proper punctuation an endangered species. In Eats, Shoots & Leaves, former editor Lynne Truss dares to say, in her delightfully urbane, witty, and very English way, that it is time to look at our commas and semicolons and see them as the wonderful and necessary things they are. This is a book for people who love punctuation and get upset when it is mishandled. From the invention of the question mark in the time of Charlemagne to George Orwell shunning the semicolon, this lively history makes a powerful case for the preservation of a system of printing conventions that is much too subtle to be mucked about with.
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About the author

Lynne Truss is a writer and journalist who started out as a literary editor with a blue pencil and then got sidetracked. The author of three novels and numerous radio comedy dramas, she spent six years as the television critic of The Times of London, followed by four (rather peculiar) years as a sports columnist for the same newspaper. She won Columnist of the Year for her work for Women’s Journal. Lynne Truss also hosted Cutting a Dash, a popular BBC Radio 4 series about punctuation. She now reviews books for the Sunday Times of London and is a familiar voice on BBC Radio 4. She lives in Brighton, England.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin
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Published on
Apr 12, 2004
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Pages
240
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ISBN
9781101218297
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Language
English
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Genres
Humor / Topic / Language
Language Arts & Disciplines / Grammar & Punctuation
Reference / Writing Skills
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Lynne Truss debuted in America as a guffaw-inducing grammarian, but her British audience has known her for years as a critically acclaimed novelist and columnist. Her previous works are now available stateside in one volume, complete with a new preface.

With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed, a raucous comedy of errors, follows the exploits of Osborne Lonsdale, who writes a weekly column called "Me and My Shed" for a floundering gardening magazine. When the publication is taken over by a gung-ho management team, Lonsdale must learn to cope with his new coworkers.

In Tennyson's Gift and Going Loco, Truss turns a fiendishly clever eye to the literary world. Tennyson's Gift is an imaginative cocktail of Victorian seriousness and farce that re-imagines the world of the nineteenth-century English poet laureate, placing him in the midst of eccentric company that includes dodgy Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll). Going Loco features a critic trying to write a definitive account of the doppelgänger in gothic fiction, amidst the chaos of her domestic life, including paranoia that her cleaning lady is taking over her life.

Making the Cat Laugh is a riotous collection of columns about single life. Truss comments on dating, secondhand smoking, shopping, holidays, and people who ask, "How's the novel going?" All the while, she continues an eighteen-year quest to make her cat laugh. Reportedly, the feline remains unimpressed.

A feast of wit, The Lynne Truss Treasury will delight fans of Eats, Shoots & Leaves.

A Pulitzer Prize–winning, #1 New York Times bestseller, Angela’s Ashes is Frank McCourt’s masterful memoir of his childhood in Ireland.

“When I look back on my childhood I wonder how I managed to survive at all. It was, of course, a miserable childhood: the happy childhood is hardly worth your while. Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood, and worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood.”

So begins the luminous memoir of Frank McCourt, born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy—exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling—does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.

Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

Angela’s Ashes, imbued on every page with Frank McCourt’s astounding humor and compassion, is a glorious book that bears all the marks of a classic.
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