PDA

View Full Version : Eats, Shoots and Leaves



WerenCole
10-11-2006, 10:19 PM
For all my grammar sticklers out there.

Okay, I am not a grammar stickler. I am aware of the rules though when I write I tend to mess things up a bit. (Should there be a comma in that sentence, where exactly does the period go if I am paranthesizing the statement in the last sentence with this sentence. . . is paranthesizing a word? Or perhaps it should be a paranthetical expression?)

There is this really funny book out there by this great English grammar stickler lady. (Redundant sentence with and. . . oh no, adverb!) It is called Eats, Shoots and Leaves. I can't remember her name but I will get back to you on the specifics when I go home and get the book. The title of the book is predicated on a variation of this joke:

A Panda walks into a restaurant and orders lunch. When lunch is served the Panda eats it, stands up to go and fires two shots into the air with a pistol then turns to leave.

"Why?" Asks the perplexed waiter. The panda says nothing but rather takes out a nature guide, throws it on the table and leaves. The waiter picks up the nature guide and flips to the definition of a panda. Panda= Eats, Shoots and Leaves.


Grammar Sticklers Unite! Use this thread to post all the messed up grammar in the world that you run across. The lady (I will get her name. . . really. And I will try not to use too many ellipses. And I will try not to start sentences with the word And. And end them for that matter. . . really, where the-hell does that period go? Can I make the-hell into a hyphenated word? Why not?) has this one particular pet peeve about some movie poster and signs for bananas in family owned grocery stores. (What was wrong with that sentence? Can I break a sentence with a paranthetical expression that contains a couple sentences of its own, with their own punctuation?) Find me things like that.

Go find an MLA handbook, arm yourself with the latest edition of Strunks and White comb your town for grammatical castatrophes.

You can start with this post. I told you I wasn't a grammar stickler.

Happy Hunting!

alleycat
10-11-2006, 10:32 PM
Lynne Truss.

I read it some time ago. I was expecting her to be like one of those high school teachers who believes it was cast in stone, along with the Ten Commandments, to not to begin a sentence with "and" or end with a preposition. Instead I found her to be flexible about several grammar issues, with reasoned arguments about what's important and what isn't.

dclary
10-11-2006, 10:39 PM
I thought this thread title was the Robert Blake murder in 4 words or less.

Christine N.
10-11-2006, 10:43 PM
I love that book. It sits on my shelf right next to "Self Editing for Fiction Writers".

Dollywagon
10-11-2006, 10:49 PM
I hate it.

I tried for ages to get it, got it, still don't get it.

OK, I know I'm useless at grammar, but the point is that I want to be good. It didn't help one bit. In fact it made me more confused.

When I do get to understand it, I'm going to write a really good book on grammar, just for people like me - I mean it.

MidnightMuse
10-11-2006, 10:49 PM
Yes, a great book. I also love her book on the decline of manners: Talk to the Hand.

I've loaned Eats, Shoots and Leaves to a lot of people who loved both her grammar and her writing style.

Medievalist
10-11-2006, 10:49 PM
Truss is funny, and opinionated but she frequently departs from standard American convention, so be wary if that's your market.

WerenCole
10-11-2006, 10:53 PM
MM. . . my copy was loaned to me, that is why I do not have it on hand to get her name and such. I regretfully gave it back.

Yeah, Truss is an English lady, so the book can be a touch confusing if you are looking at grammar from an American perspective, but still worth the hour or so it takes to read.

MidnightMuse
10-11-2006, 10:54 PM
Yes, that's a good point. She does make quick mention of it at the start, but it's easy to forget her British perspective doesn't always fit the American grammar. To add to my own confusion, I was edited for years by a Brit raised in Canada, who mocked my Americanisms.

There's something to be said for communicating via cave drawings.

aadams73
10-11-2006, 11:23 PM
Equally helpful is "Woe Is I" by Patricia T. O'Connor.

ChunkyC
10-12-2006, 04:07 AM
I love that book. It sits on my shelf right next to "Self Editing for Fiction Writers".
Ha! Mine too! Love both those books.

Maryn
10-12-2006, 11:18 PM
Go find an MLA handbook, arm yourself with the latest edition of Strunks and White comb your town for grammatical castatrophes.

You can start with this post. I told you I wasn't a grammar stickler.

Happy Hunting!I've shared this before, but recently I returned to the same store. The hand-lettered sign had been replaced with a professionally-printed placard above a handy little device which organizes many items in a woman's purse. The sign shows a messy purse + the organizer = a tidy purse, and reads:


Wa! La!

Maryn, shaking her head all over again

arrowqueen
10-13-2006, 12:14 AM
Jeezo. I'm getting slow in my old age. It took me ages to work that one out.

Bubastes
10-13-2006, 12:23 AM
Wa! La!

Maryn, shaking her head all over again

*sighing and shaking head along with Maryn*

I suppose it could be worse. It could have said "viola!"

Um, no, no stringed instruments here....

aadams73
10-13-2006, 12:27 AM
I wish I had a dollar for every time my sister signed a letter or email with "chow."
(I'd be rich, yes I would)

Maryn
10-13-2006, 01:59 AM
Got another one, from a source which ought to be able to afford a proofreader.


Woman attacked by lion in fair condition (Yahoo, January 2004)

Maryn, who hopes that if a lion ever attacks her, it's one in good condition

aadams73
10-13-2006, 03:31 AM
:roll:

Last night on the evening news they had a headline that(which?) read, "Theives beware!"

allion
10-14-2006, 03:32 AM
On a crawl for some show or other, they had "Moter Trend" instead of "Motor Trend." I know the news crawls are not the best place to look for good spelling or grammar, but sheesh. If you're going to plop it at the bottom of the screen and make it move, at least spell the words correctly.

Karen

Cyjon
10-15-2006, 11:45 PM
The last time I visited my father I saw his wife had a copy of "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" on the coffee table. I flipped through it and saw that she was going through it and correcting it. Now THAT is a stickler (or a retiree with way too much time on her hands). She also regularly cuts out articles from the paper and sends them to the editor with corrections.

Dawno
10-16-2006, 09:07 PM
I always want to add the Oxford (or serial) comma to that title. Hey, it's how I was taught back in the dark ages, ok? There are a lot of places where I've seen the following apocryphal dedication quoted over and over as the best justification for the Oxford comma: "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God" :D

Cyjon
10-16-2006, 09:19 PM
I wonder what she thought were mistakes.

I couldn't even bring myself to look. I just closed the book when I saw her correction marks. She's one of those people who has to find flaws where none exist.

ChunkyC
10-19-2006, 03:08 AM
Does she know it's a British book? She must, if she's reading it, since the author mentions it quite prominently at the beginning and often refers to the difference between British and American rules and usage.

Cyjon
10-19-2006, 09:14 AM
Does she know it's a British book? She must, if she's reading it, since the author mentions it quite prominently at the beginning and often refers to the difference between British and American rules and usage.

I spent many years trying to find logic in her actions before realizing there is none. If God himself appeared before her, she'd find something wrong with his shoes.

Summerwriter
10-23-2006, 10:23 PM
I tried for ages to get it, got it, still don't get it.

OK, I know I'm useless at grammar, but the point is that I want to be good.

Hi Dollywagon!
You are not alone. I do not know about that book you mentioned, but I know my grammar is not the best when it comes to writing in English.

WerenCole
10-23-2006, 11:25 PM
I love road signs:

Slow Men Working

Slow Children at Play. . .

arrowqueen
10-23-2006, 11:51 PM
Giant plant crossing.

(My favourite. As I've said before, I live in constant hope of one day seeing a Triffid.)

CBeasy
10-25-2006, 06:11 AM
I always want to add the Oxford (or serial) comma to that title. Hey, it's how I was taught back in the dark ages, ok? There are a lot of places where I've seen the following apocryphal dedication quoted over and over as the best justification for the Oxford comma: "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God" :D

I'm a big believer in the use of the Oxford comma. I don't care what anyone says, its what I was taught was right. It feels funny to use otherwise.

Kate Thornton
10-25-2006, 06:24 PM
I'm a big believer in the use of the Oxford comma. I don't care what anyone says, its what I was taught was right. It feels funny to use otherwise.

I think it has its place - !

But I don't use it all the time - I only use it when it is necessary for clarification.

CBeasy
10-25-2006, 06:30 PM
I always laugh when I see the signs that say "END ROAD WORK" at the end of a construction zone. It looks like the protest sign I'd like to hold in front of Florida DOT office.

CaroGirl
10-25-2006, 06:35 PM
Speaking of signs, there's a great sign at work that always makes me giggle. And trust me, I need a giggle when I'm at work.

The door to the emergency exit sports the following words:

This door is alarmed.

WerenCole
10-25-2006, 10:07 PM
In a statistics class I am taking we have these focus exercises (homework problems) where we turn in original answers then they give us an answer key and we have the option to rewrite the problems if we so please.

The last answer key I got was full, chock friggin full, of Oxford commas, incorrectly used hypens and such. I just about flipped my cookiees. Why can't geeky stat professors pay attention to the rules of grammar? It sems relatively simple in comparison to correlation coeffiencients and the like. I mean really.

dobiwon
10-25-2006, 11:11 PM
I love road signs:

Slow Men Working

Slow Children at Play. . .

You also find signs proclaiming "Slow School". Evidently that's where the "Slow Children" go.

CBeasy
10-26-2006, 06:10 AM
Speaking of signs, there's a great sign at work that always makes me giggle. And trust me, I need a giggle when I'm at work.

The door to the emergency exit sports the following words:

This door is alarmed.

All I can think of is a door with a horrified look on its face.

Vincent
10-26-2006, 06:13 AM
All I can think of is a door with a horrified look on its face.

Now how did those signs get published?

WerenCole
10-26-2006, 08:20 PM
Signs are published material?

Anyway, have you ever been to a sign shop? I am pretty sure they can read English, but I don't think they do. Tend to be a lot of architects and artists (designers) that don't really read.

CBeasy
10-28-2006, 06:15 AM
Funny you should mention that. Before I started that job I have now, I was in construction. I can't tell you how many prints I've used that were drawn by a architect who makes over 100,000$ a year, and spells like my girl's five year old son. I just can't understand how you can go through that much school, and never learn a thing about your native tongue.

WerenCole
11-03-2006, 07:58 AM
I am in the university library. . . in front of me there is a sign that says:

Cell Phone "Do's"

It looked a little strange, so I looked it up with the spell checker. Yep, it is right. In my curiosity I looked around for the Don't's sign. . . low and behold, there it was.

Spell checker was not so friendly with "Don't's". This is a library, really. Oh well.

dclary
11-04-2006, 02:36 AM
I always want to add the Oxford (or serial) comma to that title. Hey, it's how I was taught back in the dark ages, ok? There are a lot of places where I've seen the following apocryphal dedication quoted over and over as the best justification for the Oxford comma: "To my parents, Ayn Rand and God" :D

Just as an aside, is that what it's called if you use a comma before the final list item (also separated by the conjunction)? An Oxford comma?

And are we talking about only when listing three items, or would it be applicable for longer lists?

janetbellinger
11-04-2006, 03:36 AM
I was disappointed in the book. I thought it would have more to teach me. Heaven knows I'm not a grammar expert and I certainly need the help.

KiwiChick
11-04-2006, 04:29 AM
I always liked the newspaper headline:

Panda mating fails, scientists take over.