February 13, 2005

  • Recently, in my capacity as Research assistent for one of the theology faculty here, I had occasion to consult this little handbook of punctuation. I was proofing the final proofs (!) of her forthcoming book, and found four comma errors!! (Along with a few unhappy word choices, but those aren’t covered in this book.) In at least two cases, correct placement was sufficiently ambiguous to warrant an “official check,” and this was the volume I turned to. Cheeky, irreverent, at times nonsensical, but unfailingly accurate, I much prefer it to the more recently popular “Eats Shoots and Leaves.” (In addition, this was written for American English, which has some different punctuation standards.) If Douglas Adams (of Hitchhikers Trilogy fame) were to write a punctuation handbook, this would be it–it has that same quirky tone. Anyone teaching the Language Arts–from homeschooling first grade, to college writing classes (hey, to graduate school professors!)–SHOULD have this book as a companion.

    Just a note for those homeschooling first grade–the quirky irreverence tends occasionally to adult (not obscene, but vaguely suggestive) humor; this is something YOU consult, not something you hand your first grader.

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