Eats, Shoots and Leaves

I just finished reading what might be one of the most useful and humorous books of all time. Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, by Lynne Truss, is a humorous and strict look at the misuse of punctuation. The summary of the book says it all:

A panda walks into a café. 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 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.”

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