Friday, June 23, 2006

Apostrophe on a stick

Lizard Eater commented on my last post about incorrect apostrophes and asked if I'd read the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves. Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!

It's a laugh-out-loud funny book about ... punctuation. Really.

The book's author, Lynne Truss, is so obsessed with apostrophes that she protested at screenings of the movie Two Weeks Notice with an apostrophe on a stick. She is my hero.

Here's the origin of the book's title:

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."

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