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Eats, Shoots & Leaves


We are fans of the book Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss, and we care deeply about grammar. In this community, we revel in punctuation, syntax, and structure. We ask one another about some of the confusing aspects of grammar. We respect the comma, and we have a racy love affair with the semicolon. Some of our members have been deeply traumatized by seeing grammar brutalized in a public setting, but we’re here to comfort one another in these difficult times. Come, sooth your strained, syntactical heart with us. You’re in good company.


Eats, Shoots, & Leaves
Aptitude Test
Satire, R&M
Satire, McSweeny

Layout Codes
(c) ljcandy
Graphics adapted from Eats, Shoots & Leaves cover art, and (c) Gotham Books

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Time and Numbers and Spelling It Out [Saturday
May 2nd, 10:12pm]

Numbers and time!
Hope I can get help quickly.  I'm trying to Beta a story with a bunch of time references.  She wants to write everything in numbers, which seems okay, (Seven forty-five, etc.) until you get to "Nine ten,"  which just reads wrong.  Like counting, or something. Here are the rules I've found so far.
Normally, spell out the time of day in text even with half and quarter hours. With o'clock, the number is always spelled out.
  Examples: She gets up at four thirty before the baby wakes up.
The baby wakes up at five o'clock in the morning.

Rule 13. Use numerals with the time of day when exact times are being emphasized or when using A.M. or P.M.

Monib's flight leaves at 6:22 A.M.
Please arrive by 12:30 sharp.

She had a 7:00 P.M. deadline.

and she is emphasizing how slowly time is passing, and watching the clock.  So, I'm thinking, "9:10," except that The OWL says to stay consistent within passages. But. ?
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apostrophe question [Friday
May 1st, 6:07pm]

Greetings all

I have an apostrophe question I was hoping this community would be able to answer. I'm currently proofreading a friend's dissertation. It's on financial management, and there is a sentence where he is taking about the share price of a business. He has written "a business's share price". Is this the correct use? Or should it be "business'"? I wasn't sure if the latter use was only for plurals.

Any help would be appreciated, as I'm rather embarrassed not to know the answer to this myself!
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Found that amazing T-shirt [Monday
October 1st, 10:13pm]

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June 21st, 1:49pm]

I don't know how many of you read Philadelphia Weekly, but there's a column called The Angry Grammarian, which is excellent. Anyway, this was in the column this week:

"Gather ’round, danglers! Copy Editor newsletter is hosting a 90-minute interactive audio conference. It’s less fun when you can’t see your fellow nerds face to face, but “Grammar Bugbears: Modifiers and Prepositions” shouldn’t disappoint. (Please oh please let there be a modifier fight.)

It’s hosted by Copy Editor editor Wendalyn Nichols, who promises to give listeners the tools to successfully fight their editors on why it’s okay to split an infinitive. In other words, essential life skills.

Dial in at 11:30 a.m. Tues., June 26. Go to www.mcmurry.com for details."
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I can't believe I'd never noticed this before... [Thursday
June 21st, 3:37pm]

Go to http://www.travian.co.uk/, and check out the "welcome" at the top of the screen. Been playing the game for months and never noticed! (great game btw, I recommend!)
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May 24th, 3:47pm]

I just saw a picture of a T-shirt, which said:

Bad grammar makes me [sic]
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January 15th, 4:44pm]

I have recently been introduced to a British cartoon named Bromwell High. It is set in a poorly-funded South London school, and the main characters are under-privileged delinquent pupils. They come out with the best lines! I thought I'd share two of my favourites:

"That was shit. S-H-T-F, shit."

"Why is I have to study English? I speaks the bitch!"
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I love nerdy jokes. [Thursday
January 11th, 2:27am]


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An interesting discussion... [Thursday
December 21st, 3:31pm]

The title of the 7th Harry Potter book was released today.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I really don't like it (personally, I hate the word "deathly" and I will always change it to "fatal"), and there have been several people nitpicking the grammar here. I just thought I would share it with you guys, in case anyone wants to weigh in on the subject.

I always thought "hallow" was strictly a verb only, but perhaps it's a noun in UK English?
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A breakthrough! [Sunday
October 1st, 9:42pm]

[ mood | pleased ]

One small step for technology, one giant leap for grammar sticklers.

Do I hear a collective hurrah?

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Holy crap. [Monday
September 25th, 11:19pm]

So, virtuistic and I are watching Food Network, as we often do late at night when we should be doing other things, and currently on is "Unwrapped," with your host Marc Summers. It's a show where they pick a food item, or a genre thereof (tonight is candy, technically "confections"; in fact I think most nights it might be candy), and tell you how various products from that genre are made, complete with factory footage and all that good stuff.

Just now they started a segment on some company that makes custom-made donuts, and I don't know where or why, because we haven't actually watched it yet; we paused the DVR. We did this because some of the first words out of Marc Summers' mouth were:

"Did you know that there claims to be over ten billion donuts made every year?"

Obviously I can't see his apostrophes, but I'm at least 98% sure that there were none.

That is all.
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A question of preference: [Tuesday
September 19th, 4:03pm]

[ mood | curious ]

Poll #825144 I do believe in commas..

Which do you prefer?

The serial comma (i.e. flour, sugar, eggs, and milk.)
No serial comma (i.e. flour, sugar, eggs and milk.)
I have no preference. I just want people to be consistent.
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Success! [Thursday
September 14th, 10:22pm]

I have been successful!

I had a professor who was a grammar Nazi and Lynne Truss fan (we got along so well that it wasn't even funny), but she used to say "lots" and it drove me absolutely crazy. A lot, people, a lot! I told her so one day and just tonight I received an e-mail from her cursing me for making it hard for her to say the word casually.

1 comment|post comment

September 14th, 12:06am]

What a great shirt!!:

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a serious "weigth" problem [Wednesday
September 13th, 4:23pm]

I swear this community is the only reason I got a camera phone... and since I got it I'm seeing errors everywhere! I've been going to my gym for like 8 months, but only noticed this yesterday:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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September 11th, 5:10pm]

Saw this in the window of a recruitment agency in Bristol - check out the second paragraph. Poor.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
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Somebody's going to college... [Friday
September 8th, 11:52am]

[ mood | impressed ]

I just logged onto the University of Minnesota campus website to purchase my bus pass, and if you click the link (or continue reading) you will see what troubles me.

"Unlimited Rides. Any Bus. Any Where. Any Time."


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Just another horror story... [Thursday
August 24th, 5:18pm]

[ mood | distressed ]

I found an egregious error in my readings for school this morning before I even had a chance to get a satisfactory amount of coffee in me. It was an awful way to start the day. I feel ambushed, wounded, and am full of fear for my future profession. I need someone, or several someones, to commiserate with me and help restore my faith in humanity.

3 comments|post comment

Ugh... [Tuesday
August 8th, 1:29pm]

[ mood | exhausted ]

Alright! The new layout is up, and I am exhausted. Still, I would like to know what you guys think.

Poll #788497 *thwump*

Do we like?

No, sorry.
I remain ambivalent.
4 comments|post comment

NOTICE! [Friday
August 4th, 11:33am]

[ mood | chipper ]

A few things, I am going to be giving the community a make-over. Its aesthetics are no longer to my liking, and as the mod... I'm going to fix that. If you have any experience with layouts, and would like to create one for this community, let me know.

Also, if you would like to advertise this community, or display your membership in your user info, I have created a lovely little button to facilitate that process.

Simply copy and paste the following:

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