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Thursday, January 17, 2008

Eats, Shoots & Leaves

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.

I first read this book when I was working in the library of a charter school. My boss kept suggesting I read it...but really, why did I want to read a book on grammar and punctuation? I had been through my mandatory 13 years of school and even managed to get a bachelors degree. I'm glad I did. This book is hilarious...and so very helpful! Since I've read the book I've been more aware of how I write.

I know what you are thinking: Christie, I've read your blog. Maybe you need to read that book again. Or maybe repeat a couple of those years in school.

You're probably right.

So what brings this up? In my blog surfing today I happened upon The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks: Misinterpreting Bad Punctuation Since 2005.
Check it out. It's pretty funny. It chronicles little quotation mishaps like this:

It kind of reminds me of the Friends episode where Joey doesn't understand when to do the air quotation marks, so he just puts them in "randomly."

8 comments:

JonAmy&Abran

Hey McMillans, it was so good to get your comments! Your children are beautiful! I love being a mommy. Jonathan is an adorable dad. You never really know the joy you might be missing out on until you have a child of your own. You guys take care! amy

Julia M.

So funny! I love the story at the beginning. I ought to read that book. We never stop learning! It's a beautiful thing, really.

Skye Lee

How funny! I am the worst at punctuation when I blog! Maybe I "should" (heehee) try a little harder!

The Earls

That's so funny. I guess the teacher in me gets that little twitch when I read mispelled words, but then I've read my own and I make my own spelling/punctuation errors too. I'll have to check out the book. Too cute.

Jill Manning

That was hilarious...what a great entry. Will the book help me figure out when to use ... correctly? I feel like that is my misused quotation mark.

The Blakes

I am so guilty of editing other people's blogs while reading them. Not that my posts are perfect, but I proofread them almost obsessively. I guess that's why I'm an English teacher.

Jay and Kerry

I love seeing grammar mistakes on signs. It makes me laugh really really hard! I'm an English nut! I loved English class every year!

Jared & Nicole Haws Family

That's a cute blog- it's amazing how the littlest grammar mistakes can completely change the meaning! Thanks for sharing!