English was one of several majors I considered studying when I entered college. I was a voracious reader, and I found the rules of grammar and punctuation fascinating and satisfying. Even now, I tend to scream out loud when I hear television announcers mispronounce words or when I come across grammar or punctuation errors in magazine articles. Discovering Lynne Truss’ book Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
revived my delight in (dare I say, obsession with?) grammar. Truss addresses the current sad plight of proper punctuation with acute British wit. It is a historical narrative, to be sure, but I read the whole thing with a smile on my face and frequent hoots of laughter. Reader, beware! This book is not for the faint of heart. It may look like a mini-tome, but the contents are scholarly. You must be a true “stickler” to stick it through to the end, but you’ll be a better “punctuationist” for it. I also highly recommend Talk to the Hand: The Utter Bloody Rudeness of the World Today,
or Six Good Reasons to Stay at Home and Bolt the Door
by the same author.
—Elaine Henderson is a senior lecturer in music
Elaine Henderson holds bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Voice Performance from Mars Hill College, Mars Hill, North Carolina, and a Master
of Music degree in Voice Pedagogy from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana.
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