Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
Written by Lynne Truss.
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.
“Well, 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.”
Eats, Shoots and Leaves is the zero tolerance approach to punctuation. Lynne Truss has you absolutely in stitches all the way through. I hate(d) grammer and spelling, but Eats, Shoots and Leaves has changed that. She explains her absolutely fanatic hatred of mis-punctuated public signs, and then tells us why punctuation is so important and how it really does matter.
But colons and semicolons – well, they are in a different league, my dear! They give such a lift! Assuming a sentence rises into the air with the initial capital letter and lands with a soft-ish bump at the full stop, the humble comma can keep the sentence aloft all right, like this, UP, for hours if necessary, UP, like this, UP sort-of bouncing, and then falling down, and then UP it goes, assuming you have enough additional things to say, although in the end you may run out of ideas and then you have to roll along the ground with no commas at all until some sort of surface resistance takes over and you run out of steam anyway and then eventually with the help of three dots… you stop.
If you’re a writer, and you don’t exactly like grammer, if you just want to learn the basics of punctuation easily, I would suggest you read Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I have to say that Ms. Truss is amazing how she keeps you wound up for more, I almost wish there was an epistle! I would suggest for 14/15 and up, the book (depressingly) has a few adult themes.