Our professional copywriter has read an array of Lynne’s books, from Tennyson’s Gift to With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed. However, Lynne Truss is best-known as the only writer to have made a living out of commas rather than words with her international bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves.
When Lynne shared with her mother the idea for Eats, Shoots and Leaves, The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, she was advised to put a sticker on the front alerting readers that it was only suitable for “a select few”. However, Eats, Shoots and Leaves gained international success and Lynne Truss has since earned a reputation as an super stickler when it comes to all things grammatical, a standing that her talk in Havant revealed she now fully embraces.
Author, columnist and broadcaster Lynne told literature fans how she receives emails daily from people alerting her to grammatical bloopers, such as “Residents refuse to go in bins” and “No dogs please, no cats thank you”. While punctuation is not a definitive system that all writers will agree on, Lynne believes in the overall importance of the comma and its ability to completely change meaning if used incorrectly or not at all. Lynne compared the humble comma to a sheepdog, rounding up words and combining those that should go together while separating others.
We are now writing more than ever before with the increasing popularity of texting, blogging and social media but it seems that punctuation is not given enough precedence in schools. Lynne pointed out that there is still a lot of ignorance when it comes to punctuation and this is quite evident when you take a look at some of the street signs and advertisements around – this shows the value of a good copywriter! There is a fear that the art of punctuation will be lost as people abbreviate and substitute letters for numbers more habitually. Though, really, this is fine as long as there is still an underlying understanding of grammar and punctuation and such shortening is used as a coded communication, rather than a replacement for what is correct.
Despite popular belief that punctuation litters the page with unnecessary nonsense, punctuation actually aids comprehension and it is a fantastic thing that people like Lynne are around to bring this home to us. Lynne Truss definitely punctuated the Havant Literary Festival with grace and style and Chichester Copywriter most certainly supports her zero tolerance approach, carrying this through when copywriting for clients.
How many times do you think Chichester Copywriter checked the punctuation in the blog post? Let us just say it took a little while to write!