(BOOKRING) Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

by Lynne Truss | Reference |
ISBN: 1592400876 Global Overview for this book
Registered by jamesmum of Richmond, British Columbia Canada on 5/26/2004
Buy from one of these Booksellers:
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29 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Please remember the guidelines:

1. Journal it

2. ship it within a month

3. Use delivery confirmation (US only)

BookCzuk started a ring for this book, and got over 25 responses, so I decided to put my copy out into circulation. We split her ring members into two groups, and here is the list for mine:

  1. Bluenoser (NS, Canada)
  2. Newf (ON, Canada)
  3. ProfWendi (ON, Canada)
  4. Nik-the-Stik (ON Canada)
  5. merenwen (AB,Canada)
  6. Catwoman (AB, Canada)
  7. Brookler (BC, Canada)
  8. Islavet (WA, USA)
  9. mokona (MI, USA)
  10. novasoy (KY, USA)
  11. Nelle (ON, Canada)
  12. SLPenney (WI, USA
  13. mollyGrue (MA, USA)
  14. RoadRunner (USA)
  15. BookManu (Portugal)
  16. LisaGriffith (USA)
  17. MaceWoman (USA)
  18. LarkOnAPost (USA)
  19. TheBowieFollies (NYC)
  20. IndyGo88 (USA)
  21. KarenLea (USA)
  22. Tia-tia (USA)
  23. CollectorKerri (USA
  24. eicuthbertson (Canada)
  25. Chich (France
  26. Magika (Norway)
  27. -Psyche-(USA)
  28. Valerief (US)
  29. Back to Jamesmum)


Here is a link to BookCzuk's ring

Favourite quotes:

" No matter if you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, "Good food at it's best", you deserve to be struck by lightening, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave. "

Speaking of commas: " ...it (the comma) became a kind of scary grammatical sheepdog. As we shall shortly see, the comma has so many jobs as a "separator" that it tears about on the hillside of language, endlessly organising words into sensible groups and making them stay put: sorting and dividing; circling and herding; and of course darting off with a peremptory "woof" to round up any wayward subordinate clause that makes a futile bolt for semantic freedom. Commas, if you don't whistle at them to calm down, are unstoppably enthusiastic at this job. "

"...there is a certain amount of anxiety created once a bracket has been opened that is not dissipated until it's bloody well closed again.... Writers who place whole substantive passages in brackets can't possibly appreciate the existential suffering they inflict. When a bracket opens halfway down a left-hand page and the closing bracket is, giddyingly, nowhere in sight, it's like being in a play by Jean-Paul Sartre."

Journal Entry 2 by bluenoser from Eymet, Aquitaine France on Thursday, June 10, 2004
Woohoo! This arrived today. I've heard Lynne Truss being interviewed on TV and radio and am looking forward to having a good chuckle while reading this book. Laughing while reading a book subtitled "The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation", who would have thunk it?

Journal Entry 3 by bluenoser from Eymet, Aquitaine France on Thursday, June 17, 2004
A quick, little book that makes punctuation fun and fun of punctuation. At the same time I think I learned more about what to use where when writing. I hadn't realised before that Brits and Americans not only have different names for some punctuation but also sometimes use it differently in a sentence.
This travels on to newf tomorrow. Thanks Jamesmum.

Journal Entry 4 by wingAnonymousFinderwing on Thursday, July 22, 2004
This book was truly a breath of fresh air. I tend to be a "stickler" and I spend a lot of time correcting undergraduate essays. It's nice to find someone else who appreciates proper punctuation. I learned a few new things, particularly differences between American and Brithish styles, and I found it interesting how the punctuation I learned in Newfoundland was a strange mix of the two.

I also found it cute that the page cover lists the genre as "Reference/Humour". I don't think there are many books that fit this category!

This took a while to arrive, simply because the mail moves slowly out here. I'm sorry if I have slowed down the ring at all; I'll have it in the mail to ProfWendi as soon as possible. Thanks for sharing this great book!


Journal Entry 5 by newf from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada on Thursday, July 22, 2004
Oops, I guess I should have logged in before posting that last note. Apologies.


Journal Entry 6 by newf at Releasing by mail in Lourdes, Newfoundland and Labrador Canada on Thursday, July 29, 2004
Released on Thursday, July 29, 2004 at Releasing by mail in Lourdes, Newfoundland Canada.

Sending it off by ExpressPost to ProfWendi. Thanks for your patience!

Journal Entry 7 by ProfWendi from Oakville, Ontario Canada on Tuesday, August 3, 2004
Just received from Newf! Can't wait to read it! :)

Journal Entry 8 by ProfWendi from Oakville, Ontario Canada on Monday, August 9, 2004
Wow, this was such a fun book to read! Not only was it witty and informative, but it also made me feel more comfortable about being so anal. ;) On the day that I finished the book, I found a hand-written advertisement in our apartment lobby for a lost cat: "Lost Cat. gray, tabby, yonge" I took out my pen and corrected it. Ha.

I really loved how the writer included historical information in each chapter: it added an extra dimension to the book and made for some fascinating reading. Favourite passage:
"No matter that you have a PhD and have read all of Henry James twice. If you still persist in writing, "Good food at its best", you deserve to be struck by lightening, hacked up on the spot and buried in an unmarked grave." (*I* would have added the comma between "spot" and "and", but hey...)

I also liked the American pen-pal story; I've turned many potential dates into "un-potential" dates by practicing the same behavior in emails!!

Tomorrow I'll be sending this book off to Nik-the-Stik in London, Ontario.

Journal Entry 9 by Nik-The-Stik from London, Ontario Canada on Thursday, August 12, 2004
Received today from ProfWendi - thanks a lot! Can't wait to start reading this one! I'll be starting right away & will journal again upon completion :)

Journal Entry 10 by Nik-The-Stik from London, Ontario Canada on Wednesday, August 25, 2004
Great read! I thoroughly enjoyed this because, of course, I too am a stickler for punctuation! Okay, although I may not be as consistently perfect as I would like to be (I do tend to get a little slap-happy with exclamation marks!), I do give it a very conscious effort at all times and tend to be very judgemental of others. I'm sorry, but I must side with Lynne Truss: there is simply NO excuse, for anyone over the age of two, not to recognize the difference between the conjuctive *it's* and the possessive *its*. Get as creative as you must (if you must), with other points of punctuation, but right is right, and wrong is just plain wrong!! Shame on you all! But I digress....

I could go on and on with how many times I found myself nodding & chuckling in total agreement while devouring this little treasure. I truly believe this should be mandatory reading for certain members of the population. Perhaps good-samaritan, annonymous copies could be shipped to them in plain, brown paper wrapping??

In any case, this shall continue on its journey tomorrrow, to merenwen :)

Journal Entry 11 by Merenwen from Edmonton, Alberta Canada on Saturday, September 11, 2004
I can't write. I'm too intimidated. ;)

I'm not sure when I received this book as I have been on vacation, so sorry for the delay. Sheesh, should I apologise in advance for all errors in grammar, punctuation, or typos?

I am not a stickler per se, but do have my limits. I hope to enjoy this book and, perhaps, learn something new! (Like how British grammar allows for terminal punctuation to be left outside closing quotation marks).

*sigh* I too enjoy exclamation points!!!

I'll be back ;)

October 16, 2004
A quick update:
I've had this book now for 4 weeks (and 5 days); sorry for the delay, but life gets hectic in this house sometimes--especially after coming home from a holiday. However, I have contacted Catwoman and will pass this off asap! I'll also come back here at a better time, for me, to write my comments on the book.

October 19, 2004
Yup, lots of snow in Edmonton. Feels strange to have such an early start to winter; it's sad really.

Now to the book. Truss is a witty writer who made me laugh and think. I was very thrilled to learn new things and to find out that many of the rules I know still exist; however, it was odd to see how some of the rules I learned are either no longer being followed or are, perhaps, wrong. Having the differences in British and American punctuation explained was cool: now I know I use a strange mixture of both (I wonder how many of us Canadians fall victim to this discrepancy).

The first few chapters seemed long and indepth only to be replaced later with shorter and less satisfying chapters; perhaps this perception stems from not reading the book in one sitting. As far as her personal use of punctuation goes, she sticks to most of the rules she espouses (at least from what I can remember) except in her use of the word "however."

I found her abundant use of dashes and brackets distracting, but did, eventually, get used to it; this habit of hers is very contagious and addictive (it has increased my personal usage of these conventions 10 fold).

What else?! I love that I can tell everyone I use interrobangs--a 1962 invention that never became fashionable (much to the relief of Truss)!

So, who can tell me how to create a proper dash from my keyboard?! Laugh out loud (do you think that Truss would find it more acceptable if this is written out in full like this?). Furthermore, how do I properly punctuate the previous sentence? Or should I even call it a sentence as it contains a question in brackets after an incomplete sentence?

And here I thought she answered all the possible questions, lol.

Catwoman should have the book soon and we can see what she has to say.

Happy Reading!

Journal Entry 12 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, October 19, 2004
Thanks for the update, Merenwen! Glad to see we didn't lose you. Any snow in Edmonton yet? :)

Journal Entry 13 by Catwoman from Sherwood Park, Alberta Canada on Saturday, October 23, 2004
Picked up the book today - thanks Merenwen. While I was waiting for this bookring to get to me, I signed up for a ring of the CD version of the radio programs - it was interesting, amusing, etc. I am looking forward to reading the "whole" story, especially since a co-worker and I got into a rather spirited discussion about commas the other day......

Journal Entry 14 by Catwoman at on Saturday, November 6, 2004
Released on Saturday, November 06, 2004 at about 10:00:00 AM BX time (GMT-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada) at Mailed to a fellow Bookcrosser in n/a, n/a Controlled Releases.


Finished this the other day. Somehow I expected a bit more humor - don't know why. Enjoyable and informative.

Mailed today to Brookler to continue its journey.

Journal Entry 15 by Brookler from Powell River, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, November 11, 2004
I just received this in the mail and am finding it delightful. Imagine, a grammar book that makes you laugh out loud!

Journal Entry 16 by Brookler from Powell River, British Columbia Canada on Tuesday, November 16, 2004
I loved this book! Okay, I admit to being a "stickler". And I'll never stop using semi-colons, though (truth to tell) I've noticed self-consciously that they're becoming rarer and rarer. How wonderful it is to find a book that acurately describes the jarring experience of reading something badly punctuated!

I was surprised in reading about the punctuation differences between the British and the Americans to learn that here in Canada we almost always side with the British.

This book was lots of fun to read, full of anecdotes and historical facts, packed with wit and charm, and in many places hilarious enough to make me laugh out loud.

Journal Entry 17 by Brookler from Powell River, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Mailed today to Islavet -- you're in for a treat!

Journal Entry 18 by islavet from Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, November 21, 2004
I'm barely into the introduction, and I'm already howling with laughter and reading bits aloud to my roommate! I think I may have to buy my own copy to give to my fiance as a guide to understanding me (and maybe help out HIS punctuation a bit; he claims that he can write just fine when he wants to, but when he writes me it is during spare moments at work so he just doesn't have time to perfect it). It's so nice to find out that there are so many other sticklers out there!

Journal Entry 19 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, January 22, 2005
Updated 1/23/05: NOTE FROM THE RING ORGANIZER: HOORAY! Islavet is alive and well - we're so glad you're still here bookcrossing with us! See Islavet's journal note below for details.

Journal Entry 20 by islavet from Seattle, Washington USA on Sunday, January 23, 2005
I'm sorry everyone, I only received one PM and thought that I'd already responded to it. I've been in the middle of the holiday rush at work, planning a wedding, and losing my roommate and her computer (i.e. most of my Internet access). I'll get it sent on as soon as possible.

Journal Entry 21 by islavet from Seattle, Washington USA on Thursday, February 3, 2005
Mailed yesterday to Mokona in MI (Hi Mokona, I went to MSU and lived in Lansing for 4 years!)
I loved this book so much that I bought 3 copies to give away for Christmas!

Journal Entry 22 by Mokona from Clinton Township, Michigan USA on Tuesday, February 8, 2005
Yay! Rcvd today, thanks so much!
Go Spartans!(hee hee) ;) And such a long way from Washington!

I'm finishing up on one other bookring book that I have, but I should be starting this book by this weekend. PMing MollyGrue for her address to have it ready.

I have no idea why I wrote MollyGrue (sorry about that!), but I will be mailing this to NOVASOY ASAP. :) Geez, I wonder about my brain sometimes.

Released 16 yrs ago (3/11/2005 UTC) at to the next participant in Media Mail, Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Mailed to novasoy ... sorry for the delay.

Delivery confirmation # (yay! I remembered!)
0304 1560 0006 5173 1909

Journal Entry 24 by novasoy from Louisville, Kentucky USA on Thursday, March 17, 2005
I actually caught it a couple days ago, but I've been sick and couldn't manage to register it. Very funny so far.

Journal Entry 25 by novasoy at on Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Released 16 yrs ago (3/22/2005 UTC) at



I'm sending this on to Nelle. Beloved49 asked to be skipped.

What a wonderful book. It was delightful, funny, and smart. (Note the Oxford comma. Ms. Truss will have to pry it from my cold, dead keyboard.) Like the best books about writing, it is well-written. Truss skillfully keeps the discussion light but pulls no punches regarding the rules of correct usage.

Journal Entry 26 by Nelle from Barrie, Ontario Canada on Thursday, April 21, 2005
I received this in the mail from Novosoy. Thanks! Sorry to be so long in journalling it but I have been away at the Ft. Worth convention. I will put it near the top of my TBR pile and will get it on it's way again as soon as I can.

Journal Entry 27 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Sunday, May 1, 2005
BOOKRING OWNER'S NOTE: Can't help but giggle at Nelle's entry above!

Journal Entry 28 by Nelle from Barrie, Ontario Canada on Saturday, May 28, 2005
What a refreshingly humorous grammar text! I learned a few things, even though I considered myself well versed. ( I looked it up; there is no hyphen between well and versed in the Oxford Canadian Dictionary) As Merenwen mentioned, we are caught between the British and American rules, here in Canada. I was surprised to learn that parentheses are American. I always thought that word sounded "terribly British".
I am sorry to have held this book up so long, but, besides being away on holiday when it arrived, I was persuaded to loan it to my daughter who wanted to read it first. She thoroughly enjoyed it, too. I couldn't stop laughing about the panda story, as illustrated on the book jacket.
I will be sending this off to SLPenney on Monday. Enjoy!

Journal Entry 29 by slpenney from Oshkosh, Wisconsin USA on Monday, June 6, 2005
Got it today. Will read and send on by the weekend...

Journal Entry 30 by MollyGrue from Tacoma, Washington USA on Friday, June 24, 2005
Received yesterday. Will read as soon as I can, but I do have some other rings ahead of it. Thanks!

Journal Entry 31 by MollyGrue from Tacoma, Washington USA on Monday, June 27, 2005
I loved it! What a wonderfully funny treatise on the value and correct (to a large degree) placement of punctuation. While I know that punctuation is important, I never really thought about how it has been fought over and developed. How wonderful! I definitely wouldn't mind picking up a copy for myself.

Reserved for the next reader.

Journal Entry 32 by MollyGrue at In The Mail in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases on Saturday, July 2, 2005

Released 16 yrs ago (7/2/2005 UTC) at In The Mail in Bookring, A Bookring -- Controlled Releases



Sent to Roadrunner. Happy reading!

DC# 03022940000169565837

Journal Entry 33 by roadrunner from Spring, Texas USA on Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Arrived safely! I'm about half way through my current book and should finish it by the end of the week. I'll get to this asap.

Journal Entry 34 by roadrunner from Spring, Texas USA on Monday, July 25, 2005
Very funny book! I actually learned some things that I didn't know. I'm much more comfortable with commas now! I loved her British take on everything and enjoyed her writing very much. This is off to Bookmanu in Portugal today. Thanks Jamesmum for sharing!

Journal Entry 35 by bookmanu from Cascais, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Thursday, September 22, 2005
It's arrived! Thanks Roadrunner and jamesmum. I now have 3 of jamesmum's books in my possession :oD I don't know if this is something to brag about or if it just shows me up as being greedy when it comes to joining bookrings :P It looks like a fantastic read, I'm looking forward to devouring it. Bear with me if any of the punctuation in the preceding sentences is wrong...hopefully I'll be able to punctuate correctly after reading this book...ehehehe

I noticed the postmark on the envelope says Houston Texas.I hope things are OK with you and your family, Roadrunner, what with evacuations in Houston taking place as I write because of Hurricane Rita which is on her way to Texas.

Journal Entry 36 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Friday, January 13, 2006
Note from the ring organiser: One more reader has been added to this bookring after BookManu.

Journal Entry 37 by bookmanu from Cascais, Lisboa (distrito) Portugal on Friday, February 10, 2006
This book will be mailed off to LisaGriffith on Monday February 13th. Apologies to all for having kept it for such a long time.

Journal Entry 38 by LisaGriffith from Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Tuesday, February 21, 2006
Just received this book from bookmanu in portugal. Another transatlantic trip! I'll read as quickly as I can but I notice there's no more readers in the bookring after me!
Thanks for sharing jamesmum!

Journal Entry 39 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Friday, March 10, 2006
Note from the ring organizer: This ring has been extended, and several new members have been added. Thanks to everyone from keeping this ring going!

Journal Entry 40 by LisaGriffith from Cambridge, Massachusetts USA on Sunday, March 19, 2006
Thought provoking book. Thanks, jamesmum, for sharing.
So what, exactly, does "Phew! Lord love a duck!" mean?

I've PM'd macewoman for her mailing address and will mail the book as soon as I hear back.

Sent to macewoman today, March 21, 2006.

Released 15 yrs ago (3/21/2006 UTC) at To the next participant in Bookring/Bookray, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- Canada



Journal Entry 42 by macewoman from Winston Salem, North Carolina USA on Monday, March 27, 2006
It's here and the timing couldn't be better. I just finished my latest book and I'm ready to start this one. Really looking forward to it. Thanks jamesmum!

Journal Entry 43 by macewoman from Winston Salem, North Carolina USA on Monday, April 3, 2006
I have to say that I'm (is that apostrophe correct?) a little intimidated at the thought of writing this journal entry. Just kidding, really.
But this book did highlight how often I use punctuation improperly and how many of the rules, I learned as a child, have stuck with me. (Truly debated the need for punc. in that sentence.)

Ultimately, this description works for me: "...punctuation is 'a courtesy designed to help readers to understand a story without stumbling'." Makes it a kindness and not something to dread or fear. The true test will be in my future writing, I suppose.
Thanks jamesmum for including me in this bookring.

Sorry for the delay. I sent the book on to LarkOnAPost (USA) on 4/4/06.
DC# 0305 2710 0000 8717 9466

Journal Entry 44 by LarkOnapost from Culver, Oregon USA on Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Just received this in the mail half a minute ago and immediately crossed the street to the library to say that it is safe here on the desk in front of me. I am afraid to think about how many grammatical errors I have made in just these few sentences. I'll read this tonight to find out.

Journal Entry 45 by LarkOnapost from Culver, Oregon USA on Monday, April 24, 2006
Excellent book. I enjoyed the historical bits as well as feeling completely humbled by Ms. Truss. Not only does she know all about punctuation but she is much more well read than I am. This book took me longer to read than I expected because it is much meatier than it looks, and I closed on a purchase of property last week and that consumed a lot of my time, energy, and concentration. (I am also a fan of the Oxford Comma).

I think Truss increased my enjoyment of reading by pointing out the workings of it.

Journal Entry 46 by TheBowieFollies from Brooklyn, New York USA on Saturday, May 20, 2006
This book has arrived and is now with an Englishwoman in New York, who at university was ostracised ostracized for using British vernacular on my papers, does that make sense sence? I have been anticipating this read ala the polysyllabic spree. Mum of James, cheers for letting me have a butcher's and larkonapost for posting to me :) Yes my poetic licence is suspended! license america.
happy crossbooking all and I shall be back in a tick to deconstruct!

Journal Entry 47 by TheBowieFollies from Brooklyn, New York USA on Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Mind your P's and Q's indeed! I must say that before I was privy to this little masterpiece, that I had the deepest aversion and my own zero-tolerance policy toward pedantry to the point of my insolence.( Note: I have read more than my weight's worth of Joyce, Burgess and Cummings.) After reading this, I am left humbled, vulnerable even, for I have been far, far too free with verse and my long and winding, endless streams of consciousness. I have discovered how very infallible I am, it has been emotional. Miss Truss does for punctuation, what Miss Post does for the dinner table. How I adore her! I thank you Mum of James for letting me be one of the brood. I am sure if you have a red pencil, you will find many places in my post to utilise it! SAVE THE SEMICOLON!!! its good to cleanse those semi- colons.
this will be posted to indygo88 Friday morning :) - sorry I had a major audition and went upstate for the bank holiday but it is on its way now :)

Journal Entry 48 by TheBowieFollies from Brooklyn, New York USA on Friday, June 2, 2006
Update: This book was posted on Thursday the first of June to indygo88,
the delivery confirmation number is:

0306 0320 0001 1881 0395

cheers again jamesmum :)

Journal Entry 49 by indygo88 from Lafayette, Indiana USA on Wednesday, June 7, 2006
Appeared in my mailbox today! It's going on "the list" (see my bookshelf for reading order -- I've currently got a couple ahead of it). I'm anxious to get to this one, tho!

Journal Entry 50 by indygo88 from Lafayette, Indiana USA on Friday, June 30, 2006
Ah, what a delightful little book! This particular copy of the book itself had such a nice, comfortable feel to it: small and compact and worn on the edges. I just loved the feel of grabbing it and opening up and reading. And while I immensely enjoyed reading it, I almost had more fun just now reading everyone else's journal entries. I think it's probably fair to assume that most people interested in reading this book are those who tend to be sticklers in the first place, so those who are not probably wouldn't appreciate this book as much as "us" and may might find it boring. But I found myself nodding and giggling throughout. I always felt like I was a really good punctuator and yes, also a stickler. But I'm certainly not perfect and I know I'm probably making several errors in this entry. But alas, I admit I've fallen victim to the more modern era of being less formal and using excessive exclamation points/marks and ellipses. I've also, in the past, been somewhat of a comma-happy person, although I think I've toned it down a bit. As with several of the other readers, I'm a fan of the Oxford comma myself and have trouble letting that go. And I will never master the use of the colon in ways other than when preceding a list. But all in all, I felt relatively good about myself and my use of punctuation after reading this book. I will never forget a 5th grade book report (about raccoons, I think) where I repeatedly used "it's" instead of "its", and thus I had the red pencil circles all over my paper from the teacher as a result. It very much humbled me, but to this day I think I can say I learned my lesson and have been using that particular apostrophe correctly.

As I was reading, I kept waiting for the elusive panda story and was a bit puzzled when it didn't show up in the comma chapter. Only after I was about halfway through the book did I realize it was on the back cover.

This was a great little read -- who would have ever thought a punctuation book could be funny?! It's sad to think that many people in this world (or rather, those who are English-speaking) have never grasped or even learned correct punctuation, and probably never will. I really loved this book and feel like I'd love to share copies of it with my friends, but sadly, I don't know if they'd appreciate it as much as I did. I do know for a fact that my mom would appreciate it, and now I know of one thing I'll put on her Christmas list!

Thanks, jamesmum, for another great book! I've PM'd KarenLea and am waiting for a mailing address.

P.S. -- I also meant to say how honored I feel to be among a list of so many journalers for this book. It's great to see a book so well-traveled!

7/3/06 -- Mailed today to Karenlea. DC# 0305 2200 0000 8368 6607

Journal Entry 51 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Monday, July 10, 2006
Caught!!! I have a few books ahead of it, but I should be able to start it soon. Thank You for sharing!!!

Journal Entry 52 by Karenlea from Glendale, California USA on Wednesday, July 26, 2006
I enjoyed this book. However, I am now a little bit paranoid that I may be guilty of the occasional punctuation blunder! I learned a few new things and the book was funny.

I am waiting to hear from the next reader, but this should be mailed out very soon. I will edit this post with the mailing confirmation number as soon as it's out.

Thank you for sharing!!!

I mailed this book out on 8-1-06.
Confirmation#0306 0320 0003 5151 8911

Journal Entry 53 by wingcollectorkerriwing from Springfield, Illinois USA on Tuesday, October 31, 2006
Received from tiatia, but it looks like she didn't journal the book. Hm. I will read after I get through a couple other bookrings.

Journal Entry 54 by wingcollectorkerriwing from Springfield, Illinois USA on Monday, November 27, 2006
I just couldn't get into this book, no matter how hard I tried. I thought I would love it, being a person who regularly is infuriated at the punctuation-defective American public, but I didn't. Too bad. The panda joke on the back cover is hilarious; too bad the whole book wasn't that funny. Maybe it's because I'm not British...

At any rate, it's on its way to eicuthbertson today.

Journal Entry 55 by eicuthbertson from Burnaby, British Columbia Canada on Saturday, December 9, 2006
I've just picked this up from the post office. Thanks, collectorkerri.

Journal Entry 56 by eicuthbertson from Burnaby, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I did enjoy "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" and may be looking for a copy to keep for my very own. I am another one who complains about punctuation (and spelling) in notices, advertisements, public letters and the like. Informality is fine, but some e-mails (yes, I still use that hyphen) are almost incomprehensible.

Although I'd consider myself an old-fashioned writer, at least in my use of punctuation,I can see that my Canadian ways are not always consistent. Still Truss has accepted a number of newer conventions that I won't use yet, for instance, UK instead of U.K. (I'll confess now that I most often avoid the dreaded colon except when making lists.)

When punctuation isn't clear, there can be severe consequences. Recently, two large companies disagreed about the meaning of a comma in a Canadian contract. The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (I don't like that hyphen!) ruled on this, but the case continues as the French version of the contract didn't include the same comma.

Here's one article about this 'comma case' by Grant Robertson, 6 August, 2006 The Globe and Mail, www.globeandmail.com

Comma quirk irks Rogers

I often rant about other related language issues. Why do otherwise sensible people persist in referring to America when they mean only the United States of America? Many, many people in America don't speak English as their first language, so this seems to me to be particularly inappropriate in this book.

This book is now ready to go to chich in France.
Happy Holidays, everyone, and Bonne année !

Journal Entry 57 by eicuthbertson from Burnaby, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Packed up & away to the post office---heading for France.

Journal Entry 58 by chich from Ibiza - Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Saturday, January 6, 2007
Image hosting by Photobucket Book received today, thanks for passing it on eicuthbertson! And thanks for the lovely card and bookmark, too:)

Having read Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life just recently, I can't wait to read this one!

Happy new year to all previous readers:-)))

Journal Entry 59 by chich from Ibiza - Sant Antoni de Portmany, Illes Balears/Islas Baleares Spain on Wednesday, January 17, 2007
My dear fellow sticklers, please be kind and try not to judge my use of punctuation too harshly!
What a fun, instructive little book this is! If only school books were this amusing and entertaining, I'm sure children would appreciate "boring" subjects such as punctuation and grammar much more. This really is a terrific little book: I enjoyed the author's sense of humour very much and found myself laughing out loud several times as I read.
Even though I found all chapters equally fun and interesting, I think the one I enjoyed most is the one about the apostrophe and its many misuses. I learned many things about the proper use of punctuation in this book but what surprised me most is the difference between the hyphen and the dash, which I had no idea existed. I knew about the dash of course, but didn't really know what the hyphen was or what it was used for. What actually surprised me is that they are considered two very different things in English, whereas in French we use the same word ("tiret") and punctuation sign for both.
I grew so tired of taking notes as I read that I finally decided to buy a copy of my own that I can refer to when in doubt:)

I already have Magika's address and will send her the book this afternoon.

Thanks so much for sharing Jamesmum!

Journal Entry 60 by Magika on Friday, February 9, 2007
This little gem arrived a couple of days ago, and being a stickler myself I have been looking forward to reading it with much anticipation (mostly to be able to make fun of people who don't know their commas from their sandwich). By the way, should there be a full stop inside the brackets as well? I haven't reached that chapter yet... :-)

Journal Entry 61 by Magika on Tuesday, March 6, 2007
What a little gem this was! So great to read a book that can teach you something, and is funny as well. As English is not my first language, it was great to finally discover the proper use of different punctuation marks (I've especially been wondering about the semi-colon, which I now can't remember how is spelt. With a hyphen? In two words? One word?). Anyway, I found this book very educational and occationally rather hilarious, and I've already recommended it to most of my friends.

Babykittysmama has asked to be skipped, so this book is heading off to -Psyche- shortly. Thanks for sharing, jamesmum!

13.03.07: Posted 09.03.07 to -Psyche-.

Journal Entry 62 by -Psyche- on Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Book has arrived! I will read it and pass it along shortly!

Journal Entry 63 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Wednesday, October 3, 2007
This book is with its 27th of 28 readers - I am so impressed! Thanks to everyone who has kept this ring alive for the past three years. I look forward to seeing it again once it visits its final reader.

Journal Entry 64 by valerief from Queens, New York USA on Sunday, November 4, 2007
This arrived at some point late summer while I was on a whirlwind of business trips. Looking forward to reading and sending it back home.

Journal Entry 65 by valerief from Queens, New York USA on Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Am hoping to send this back to jamesmum when I'm in Vancouver later this week. Have pm'd for latest address in Canada since RABCK.com is out of date.

Released 14 yrs ago (1/22/2008 UTC) at By Mail in sent to a fellow bookcrosser, Bookring -- Controlled Releases


Having joined the Facebook group "I judge you when you use poor grammar," I did enjoy reading this and even learned a thing or two. Interestingly, I think I located a couple of typos in the book, but I will refrain from correcting them. I prefer some British punctuation rules, such as the punctuation outside quotations, to the American rules, but I do not like the overuse of hyphens. To me, compound words or spaces just seem better. It sounds like I am also in good company of fellow Oxford comma adherents as well (who knew it had a name!).

Concerning her commentary on the change in writing addresses, part of this is for a good reason. The US Postal Service recommends refraining from using punctuation (e.g., in the street name and state abbrevations and to separate the city from the state) because it allows the computers to scan the address and route it to the correct place faster.


Originally, I was going to post to jamesmum while in Canada. In fact, I finished reading it while in Vancouver. However, Canada Post domestic mail is much more expensive than the U.S. Postal Service international first class. Once I return from my business trip, I will mail this back to its owner.

Journal Entry 67 by jamesmum from Richmond, British Columbia Canada on Thursday, March 20, 2008
This book has arrived back home after an almost four-year journey. It departed from California in May 2004, then it visited Canada (three separate times), France, Norway, Portugal, and the US before being returned to me in Canada (I had moved from California to BC during the book's long sojourn). Many thanks to everyone for making this such a successful and long-lived bookring!

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