10 June 2006


A panda walks into a cafe. After perusing the menu, he orders and eats his meal. When he has finished eating, he pulls out a gun, fires two shots into the air, and heads for the exit.

"Why?" asks the confused waiter. The panda produces a poorly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder. "I'm a panda," he says. "Look it up."

The waitier turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation:

"Panda. Large black-and-while mammal native to China who eats, shoots and leaves."

Moral: Punctuation really does matter even if it is only occasionally a matter of life and death.

(This is from the book Eats, Shoots and Leaves--a brilliant book that I could have written and thoroughly enjoyed. It's nice to know others share my passion for correct punctuation. It gives me hope. Writing is a form of communication. Punctuation enables the reader to understand the writer. Or, when incorrectly used, punctuation casues the reader's blood pressure to sky rocket as she mutters about the idiocy of some people...Read the book and think of me. Of course, it may give you insights you never wanted into the kateish mind...)

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