Lynne Truss tells the following story:
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 towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife man ual 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. ”
Truss is the author of several books, a book reviewer for the Sunday Times of London, and she hosted “Cutting a Dash,” a BBC program on punctuation. In her 2003 Penguin book Eats, Shoots and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, Truss advocates for us all to be sticklers for grammar: click on eats to read a brief excerpt.
Punctuation is important for many reasons. It provides the musical score for your writing as well as specific, important and sometimes lifesaving information.
A woman, without her man, is nothing.
A woman: without her, man is nothing.