Author Topic: Eats Shoots & Leaves  (Read 391 times)

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Offline pjohns

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Eats Shoots & Leaves
« on: December 06, 2013, 03:23:41 PM »
I am currently reading the 2004 bestseller by Lynne Truss, Eats Shoots & Leaves, which probably can best be described as a humorous approach to grammar and puncuation:  Sloppy grammar and/or punctuation can lead, at times, to some undesirable results.

The title to the book is actually explained on its back cover:

Quote
A panda walks into a cafe.  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 toward 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."

Admittedly, this requires a different spelling for the homophone, chutes.  But the point is well taken:  A (seemingly) very minor alteration can make for an enormous difference in meaning.

Although the author gives several examples of this, very early on, she neglects to mention one of my favorites.  It is from the New Testament; more specifically, it is from Romans 1:13a, in which the apostle Paul declares the following:

Quote
Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren...

With just the slightest alteration--and remember, the Koine Greek of the first century contained no punctuation; so it is entirely arbitrary--we can produce the following:

Quote
Now I would not have you, ignorant brethren...


My, what a difference the mere placement of a comma makes...

Offline mountaineer

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Re: Eats Shoots & Leaves
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2013, 03:46:11 PM »
The only difference between the Democrats and the Republicans is that the Democrats allow the poor to be corrupt, too.
--- Oscar Levant

Offline Chieftain

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Re: Eats Shoots & Leaves
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2013, 03:52:10 PM »
At this time, as a public service, we are glad to post the following additional supplementary bulletin from the Office of Fluctuation Control and Ceiling Repairs, Bureau of Edible Condiments, Soluble, Insoluble, and Indigestible Fats and Glutinous Derivatives, Washington, D.C.:

Correction of the Correction of Directive 943456201, issued yesterday afternoon, which noted said Directive should read “ground hogmeat” instead of “groundhog meat.”


 :whistle:

Offline pjohns

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Re: Eats Shoots & Leaves
« Reply #3 on: December 08, 2013, 07:37:31 PM »
At this time, as a public service, we are glad to post the following additional supplementary bulletin from the Office of Fluctuation Control and Ceiling Repairs, Bureau of Edible Condiments, Soluble, Insoluble, and Indigestible Fats and Glutinous Derivatives, Washington, D.C.:

Correction of the Correction of Directive 943456201, issued yesterday afternoon, which noted said Directive should read “ground hogmeat” instead of “groundhog meat.”


 :whistle:

Good one!


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