Sunday, September 14, 2008

Eats, Shoots and Leaves...

You may know the story. It's been around a while.

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
"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."

A bit slow in my old age, I've just discovered Lynne Truss's wonderful book entitled Eats, Shoots and Leaves, and I heartily recommend it to anyone who appreciates a "zero tolerance approach to punctuation" and a writer with style. Who could not love a writer who gives us this wonderful little insight into the history of punctuation:

"...western systems of punctuation were damned unsatisfactory ... until one man - one fabulous Venetian printer - finally wrestled with the issue and pinned it to the mat. That man was Aldus Manutius the Elder (1450-1515) and I will happily admit I hadn't heard of him until about a year ago, but am now absolutely kicking myself that I never volunteered to have his babies."

Really, my friends, you need to read this book!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home