Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Savaging 'Eats, Shoots and Leaves'
Louis Menand pretty much takes apart Lynne Truss's "Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation" in his critics column in The New Yorker.
I'll admit to having only skimmed the volume at the bookstore, and while it was an interesting read, its inconsistencies troubled. One of Menand's conclusions: "Though she has persuaded herself otherwise, Truss doesn't want people to care about correctness. She wants them to care about writing and about using the full resources of the language. 'Eats, Shoots & Leaves' is really a 'decline of print culture' book disguised as a style manual (poorly disguised)."
Menand goes on to a lengthy discussion of the vagaries of literary voice and style. It's an interesting column worth a look.


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