Books: Period Piece

A best-selling (!) guide for the comma challenged

You can set aside concerns about such minor matters as sex, money and career. Lynne Truss is here to help you with the really important issues--such as the proper placement of apostrophes, the six uses of the comma and the preservation of the hyphen. Truss, a British journalist and novelist, is a self-proclaimed stickler for punctuation. Not for its own sake, mind you, but because, as she writes in Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Gotham Books; 209 pages), "without it there is no reliable way of communicating meaning."

Too eager to keep Eats breezy, Truss writes in a tiresomely jokey style....

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