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Sturm College of Law


Legal writing, Punctuation


Most of my columns advise legal writers; this one also aims to change the perspective of a legal reader. The September 2004 column addressed some of the issues raised by a British best- seller on punctuation called Eats, Shoots & Leaves. The author, Lynne Truss, attempts to make a case for "sticklers" who "refuse to patronize any shop with checkouts for 'eight items or less'" or who have urges to "shin up ladders at dead of night with an apostrophe-shaped stencil and a tin of paint" to correct advertisements. To her, punctuation errors are "signs of ignorance and indifference."

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