christmas book wishes

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Sat Dec 27 12:27:37 EST 2003


Paul wrote:

>> *Eats, Shoots and Leaves* by Lynne Truss.
>
>Apparently somebody's already found a punctuation error in it. On the
>title page, no less.

I now have a copy (well done Father Christmas, say I) and have to admit I
can't find this.  Seeing that all there *is* on the title page is the
book's title, the author's name, and the publisher's name, and the only
punctuation is the comma in the title, I'm not sure what the error might
be.

If I want to be picky I'll say I might not myself have started the sentence
on the back cover "So, punctuation really does matter, even if..." with the
"so comma", because I would tend to avoid conjunctions followed by a comma
at the openings of sentences, but technically I think that isn't properly
speaking an *error*, just a style-niggle.  "So comma" does sometimes find a
place, yea even in the work of DWJ -- who is pretty sound on grammar.  She
regards this construction as being "a big gun to shoot down the wandering
attention", apparently, not something to be employed casually or without
proper thought.

If it were "And, thingy" or "But, thingy", I might have to disagree with
her, because those two *always* jar on me.  I have no idea whether there is
any good grammatical reason not to use them; I just don't like them.

Minnow


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