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Dec 2006
Talk to the Hand - Lynne Truss - Profile Books, 2005
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Lynne Truss, the queen of the grumpy old women, is back with a book about modern manners, or more accurately the lack of them. Like her previous one it is an entertaining and thoughtful read, but the subtitle - The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Modern Life (or six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door) - reveals its Daily Telegraph-derived jeremiad tendencies, and unlike Eats, Shoots and Leaves it is not particularly enlightening.
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31 Dec 2005
Eats, Shoots & Leaves - Lynne Truss - Profile Books, 2003

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Anyone who cares about language has their bêtes noires - faults of grammar, spelling or punctuation which, when encountered, cause them to see red and throw things round the room. My particular one is "different to" (just typing that is making me pound the keyboard harder). A differs from B; it doesn't differ to it. Even the appalling American formulation "different than" is better.

Sorry. Just had to get that off my chest. Lynne Truss has similar hang-ups, but in her case they extend to the whole of punctuation. She has come up with the rather splendid term "stickler" to describe people for whom failure to conform to the rules of English grammar and syntax is a cause of deep offence. This laugh-out-loud guide to the uses and abuses of the common punctuation marks is a bible (or should that be Bible?) for sticklers everywhere.
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