The importance of punctutation

Thursday, January 20, 2005

A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwhich, 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 back-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoot and leaves."

So, punctuation really does matter, even if it is only occasionally a matter or life and death.

Taken from the back cover of Eats, shoots and leaves. The zero tolerance guide to punctuation by Lynne Truss. A GREAT book. It's not a grammar reference per se , more like a reflection on the structure and history of English grammar. Quite fun.


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