Eats, Shoots and Leaves

I love the title of this book. Does the panda eat, then shoots and then leaves or does the panda eat the shoots and the leaves? Well my eight year old decided that someone eats, shoots and them leaves – the technically correct version luckily!

Apparently the title of the book came from a badly punctuated wildlife manual which described the panda: ‘Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.’

Text Messages

One of the gripes in the book was about text messages and the lack of punctuation in messages. So obviously, the next text I sent had as many as I could reasonably fit in – exclamation mark, colon and the full stop at the end. I didn’t get a reply. I’m not sure if the receiver was so impressed that she was lost for words; decided I was some sort of pompous git and not worth a reply; or more likely, completely oblivious to it all.

The book takes you through some of the most commonly used punctuation after an introductions to all the funny errors that occur when the punctuation are misplaced.

Punctuation marks

Some of the punctuation marks the book explains include apostrophes, commas, colons and semi-colons. It then talks about hyphens, ellipsis (the three dots which I had no idea had a name!), as well as brackets, exclamation marks and question marks.

The book also talks about how language has evolved along with punctuation marks and it will continue to do so. This brief history of punctuation was actually quite interesting.

Explaining when and how to use different punctuation in a fun, tongue-in-cheek way was quite interesting and easy to remember. Hopefully, it will help me with my writing in the future.


If you are into learning about punctuation and grammar, this is an excellent book. It gives you a nice introduction into punctuation, even if some of the ‘jokes’ are a little lost on me. If, on the other hand, none of this remotely interests you, trying to read will be hard work.

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