I picked up Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero-Tolerance Approach to Punctuation after listening to Lynne Truss on the City Arts and Lectures program on NPR. This is a delightful book if you are obsessive about grammar and punctuation, and feel a self-righteous irritation at the examples of maimed punctuation that you see around you. I even picked up a few things that I wasn't sure about, such as:
1. In a sentence containing a quote, should the period be inside the quotes or outside? It turns out that the answer is different depending upon which side of the Atlantic you are on.
2. Can a semicolon be used instead of a comma in a list of items? There are some good examples of this in the book, although I have to say that the paragraphs by G. B. Shaw are hideous.
In explaining the rules for using the apostrophe, the comma, the semicolon and the exclamation mark, the book is wonderfully and wittily written but it is very small; I was left begging for more. (Is a semicolon appropriate there?)