Monday, September 20, 2004

Getting Away With It

Eats, Shoots and Leaves was, as expected, a delicious read. (It was the sort of book I can always imagine myself slowly savoring homemade chocolates while I'm reading it. Not that I have any homemade chocolates; I just have to imagine them.) Plenty of ghastly examples and very witty renderings of grammatical rules and history. If I get very inspired, I may post some favorite quotes.

It did recognize that famous writers can get away with flouting the rules of punctuation, rather as people who could draw at some point can pile up garbage and get museums to buy it; thin, beautiful people can wear ugly clothes and call them fashionable; rich people can decorate their homes with trash pickings and call it chic; and, as Rose pointed out, Ogden Nash can utterly disregard the meter when he wants. Contrary to the apparent beliefs of some, however, the corollary is not true and disregarding punctuation is not the path to literary fame and fortune any more than wearing ugly clothes turns you beautiful.

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