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."



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!