christmas book wishes

minnow at minnow at
Sat Dec 27 17:07:44 EST 2003

Jane Scarlett wrote:

>> 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.

and I wrote:
>> 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.
>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.

The whole point of the title is that the punctuation makes the phrase
possibly correct but certainly silly, though, so there is no *error* in the
punctuation, which is in any case being quoted.

(Maybe that comma was meant to have been a colon: that would be the sort of
thing one might expect in a book about animals.  "Eats: shoots and

Your pedantic husband is probably right if he sticks with his first
suggestion and allows as how the panda is just trying to stop being tempted
to emulate Wyatt Earp or some such Wild West figure and is depicted
re-nouning the "shoots" that has been verbed by the comma.


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