This is by far the best book I have ever read. I'm always a little late jumping on the bandwagon (trust me, that's a good thing), so when this book came out, in 2003 I believe, I picked it up, looked at it and put it back down. I don't know what made me decide to add it to my bag. The lack of good reading material, perhaps? Anyway, I have thoroughly enjoyed reading another punctuation stickler's woes. Here are a few quotes from the book that I got a kick out of.
On exclamation marks:
Quoting H.W. Fowler, "An excessive use of exclamation marks is a certain indication of an unpractised writer or of one who wants to add a spurious dash of sensation to something unsensational."
"In the family of punctuation, where the full stop (period) is daddy and the comma is mummy, and the semicolon quietly practices the piano with crossed hands, the exclamation mark is the big attention-deficit brother who gets over-excited and breaks things and laughs too loudly."
On publisher, Thurber:
"Thurber was once asked by a correspondent: "Why did you have a comma in the sentence, 'After dinner, the men went into the living room'?" And his answer was probably one of the most lovliest things ever said about punctuation. "This particular comma," Thurber explained, "was Ross's way of giving the men time to push back their chairs and stand up." "
Isn't that beautiful? I thought so.