31 July 2014

Eats, Shoots, & Leaves

Lynne Truss's Eats, Shoots & Leaves has been my favorite book since the first time I read it, back in 2007. Strange, I know: that such a huge sci-fi and fantasy fan as myself would put this (not-so-)humble book on punctuation at the top of my list. Yet there we are.

I've probably read Eats, Shoots & Leaves nearly as many times as I have The Lord of the Rings, which I've been acquainted with for far longer. Every time I do I chuckle like a madman and enjoy it thoroughly.  It's a book I can get lost in no matter my mood.

Not only is it enjoyable, it's also a handy reference.  Yes, some of the usages tend toward the British model, but the edition I have does thankfully have notes on where American usage differs. Besides, who doesn't want to sound a little British in everything they do?

I think my favorite passage in the whole book is where the author waxes poetic on the semicolon and wishes she could have had the babies of Aldus Manutius, the semicolon's inventor. Now, I know what you're thinking: semicolons are the devil! I disagree. They are overused, sometimes criminally so, but they are beautiful and eloquent and I refuse to give them up.

If my 'TO READ' stack wasn't so large already, I'd add this book back in, because it's been nearly a year since I read it last. In fact, I may do that anyway. Nothing makes me feel better than reading about the Strunkenwhite virus hoax.