Lord of the reads: +5401
I have to confess that while I have a few books related to the grammar, I rarely look at them. I remember much of that which I learned at school 50 years ago. Some aspects I have inevitably forgotten but rules relating to grammar have relaxed since those days when commas were rather strictly regimented…at least they had specific places to stand to attention and dare not move. It seems that today they wander all over the place and I am as guilty of letting them off the lead as any other writer, I have to constantly keep calling them back and instructing them to walk to heel. The problem seems to be finding a happy medium between over use and under use, after all the comma creates the pause in a sentence that gives it sense…or nonsense, it can create emotion or leave the sentence emotionless, much depends upon the careful use of this little but powerful dot with a tail.
Of course there is much more to grammar than mere commas and another book about grammar that I would add to the recommended list is John Humphrey’s work about the subject. Yes, this is the Today man on Radio 4 and more recently the man with the questions on the TV Mastermind program. His book is titled ‘Lost for Words’ and is very informative and entertaining. It has a subtitle which goes some way to explaining its content:- The Mangling and Manipulating of the English Language.
Just to mention that Lynne Truss has another book called Talk to the Hand subtitled The Utter Bloody Rudeness of Everyday Life…or six good reasons to stay home and bolt the door.
I recommend this book which is a follow up to Eats, Shoots and Leaves, albeit examining a different area, not poor grammar or punctuation but rudeness.
It is entertaining and revealing.