Maybe it’s because of Facebook postings or tweets that I read; maybe it’s because I am a punctuation stickler (not to be confused with a grammar snob) sometimes; maybe it’s from editing many newsletters and student writings; or maybe it’s because punctuation saves lives. Whichever it may be, I felt prompted to choose punctuation as today’s Random Stuff We Like entry.
Though the following statements don’t necessarily apply to me whole-heartedly, they definitely resonated with me…enough so that I thought I’d share them from a book I am rereading.
“It’s tough being a stickler for punctuation these days. One almost dare not get up in the mornings…Part of one’s despair, of course, is that the world cares nothing for the little shocks endured by a sensitive stickler. While we look in horror at a badly punctuated sign, the world carries on around us, blind to our plight. We are like the little boy in The Sixth Sense who can see dead people, except that we can see dead punctuation.” -Lynne Truss, author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves
You think I exaggerate when I talk of dead punctuation and saving lives. Ah ha! (said with the tone that indicates I have proof.) Consider what Lynne Truss shares:
“A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.
“Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“I’m a panda,” he says at the door. “Look it up.”
The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.” So, punctuation really DOES matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.”
See! I told you so. Next time you loosely use your punctuation, for the love of pandas, think about it. Furthermore, if any of this left you smiling and nodding your head, perhaps you should pick up a copy of the book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves.