And yes, that apostrophe in the title is deliberately misplaced.

I just finished “Eats, Shoots & Leaves” and I have never felt so vindicated in my rage against the horrible punctuation-related atrocities being committed in our world today. It’s (as in “it is,” not “its,” the possessive) comforting to know that I’m not the only one who starts foaming at the mouth a bit every time I see a sign that says “Apple’s 4 Sale.” (What is a “4 Sale” and how on earth is an apple capable of holding one?)

I know, I know… I’m a stickler. I’m not going to argue that. You know what? I’m proud of it. I care about the correct use of not just apostrophes, but commas, dashes and, dare I say it, even semicolons. They MATTER. They help us to read the way an author intended. They convey nuances that can’t be expressed through words alone. And if I do say so myself, they prevent our slide into complete and total illiteracy and general societal decline. I know a lot of people would read this (assuming a lot of people ever would read my blog, which is the hugest of huge leaps) and say “She’s a nut-job.” Which is true, but what has that to do with punctuation?

Lynne Truss expounds on all of this and more in hilarious, grammar-geek fashion in her book. Sadly for me, she’s British, so my dream to take a stroll with her and point out/laugh at all of the nonsensical signs we encounter will probably never come to fruition. The Brit aspect makes for some interesting digressions from the standard grammar/punctuation training I received in American schools, too. Who knew they were so adamant about terminal commas and the placement of the punctuation OUTSIDE the closing quotation marks (hilariously — at least to me — called ‘inverted commas’ in England)?

At any rate, this book had me laughing aloud on the train. If you’re a grammar geek (and don’t mind your fellow T riders thinking you’re crazy because you’re giggling and talking to yourself  just a little bit), definitely check out this book. Better still, if you’re like the woman Truss writes about who’s “always wanted to learn about punctuation but just never had the chance” (this uttered at Truss’ book signing, for her book about punctuation), this is a heck-of-a-lot more fun way to learn than digging out your old grade-school grammar books.

Next chapter: Continue my crusade for correct punctuation, regardless of how many people scoff at me, call me “you wordy weirdo” or refuse to acknowledge me in public as their friend/girlfriend/sister/colleague.

Bibliography: Getting back to my Nook and taking a little chick lit break, since I just got the EPub version of Sophie Kinsella’s “I’ve Got Your Number.”

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