Lynne Truss’ grammar book, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, hit the top of the U.K. bestseller list in 2003. The U.S. version appeared last month and as of this moment has an Amazon sales rank of 1. Last week Josh Abraham of Yankee Pot Roast took on the “chipper, chirpy handbook for the pathologically meticulous,” arguing that its very title is, by the author’s standards, improperly punctuated:
crazy lady who does not practice what she preaches, one has zero tolerance, but a zero-freakinâ€™-hyphen-tolerance approach. Where the bloody blazes is the dang hyphen betwixt â€œZeroâ€ and â€œToleranceâ€ in your stupid title, you daffy bird?!? For shame, Ms. Truss! You prattle on for 200 pages, cheekily admonishing hardscrabble greengrocers for their naÃ¯ve misuse of typesettersâ€™ marks, and you bungled the title!