I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that many in our esteemed readership have at the very least heard of Eats, Shoots & Leaves, the book. I will confess that I have not read it. Yet. Nevertheless, I was excited indeed when, looking through the books on CD at my local library, I happened upon, not the book itself, but (perhaps even better) the original BBC radio series the book was based on.
Lynne Truss is awesome! And British. Therefore even more awesome. She presents the series in her own voice, i.e. accented. More happiness ensues (I mean, she calls “periods”/ “.” “full stops;” and pronounces “colon” with a long “o” and then short “ah,” as opposed to the American short “i” as in “in”).
It’s a book about punctuation. I know, sounds snoozy. But it’s not so much instructional as it is observational. Like “oh my gosh, can you believe people actually punctuate like that?” (okay, maybe not everyone asks themselves that question on a regular basis)(but I do)(and to me, the book was a sheer delight)(some people’s punctuation (or lack thereof, as the case may be) drives me bonkers)(I know what you’re thinking: big, big dork)(I won’t contest you on this point).
It has the comedian that tells the “eats, shoots & leaves” joke telling it live.
It interviews a bunch of awesome and smart-sounding people.
It recognizes all kinds of crazy punctuation mistakes that show up everywhere.
It talks about how we learn to punctuate and why some people do it so poorly.
It traces (just briefly) the history of modern-day punctuation.
It talks about how the advent of the internet and text messaging has impacted (i.e. deformalized) the approach to contemporary punctuation.
Oh, and it teaches you that “!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!” is called an “interrobang” (that (for me) alone worth the price of admission).
If you can find this radio series, I would HIGHLY recommend it. All the nerdy fun you can handle!