Eats, shoots and leaves

I recently re-heard this joke about the panda during a presentation on the importance of punctuation in my company.

Just in case you are not familiar, it is about this panda, who can talk, who goes to the restaurant, has food, fires a few shots in the air and leaves without paying. On being questioned, it throws a WWF manual at him. It has this section about the panda - among other things, "eats, shoots and leaves".

Imagine my surprise when I found a book by the same title in our company library! I decided to take a chance with this book, especially since my colleague, Srini endorsed it.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves is an interesting book by Lynne Truss, a British writer, who is popular for her BBC programs . The author laments the incorrect, if not abuse of punctuations. The book traces the origin of various punctuations and talks about the ways to use them. It also highlights the nuances of use in American English vs British English. I, for one, learnt the difference between hyphen and dash!

The book is an interesting read, due to the presence various anecdotes and quotes. The author has an easy writing style and one never gets the feeling that it is a book on English grammar (focussed on punctuation).