christmas book wishes

Charles Butler hannibal at
Sat Dec 27 14:20:06 EST 2003


> My pedantic husband is sure it should either be "Eats shoots and leaves"
> or "Eats, shoots, and leaves" but we decided that the panda has already
> rubbed out the second comma.

This is what Truss calls (IIRC) the Oxford comma, and it's largely a matter
of national preference. In my experience US editors want it in, but UK ones
prefer to omit it.

My candidate is the missing hyphen in the subtitle: 'The Zero Tolerance
Approach to Punctuation'. Shouldn't that, as a compound adjective, be

Charlie (who, while acknowledging the impeccability of Robyn's reasoning,
has no problem with beginning a sentence 'And' or 'But', because he often
wants to mimic the patterns of spoken language).

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