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Eats, Shoots & Leaves?


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It's been a few year since I've read it, but I do seem to remember some language choices that might be inappropriate for a child her age.


The children's version doesn't have any inappropriate language, that I recall. We checked it out from the library a couple months ago. My son enjoyed it.


I think there is an adult version too? I haven't seen that one.

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  • 2 weeks later...
The original - adult version.

Children's spin-off. Picture book with nothing offensive.

We saw this yesterday at the bookstore: Twenty-Odd Ducks. Another children's picture book.

And checking on amazon... it looks like there's a new picture book on apostrophes: The Girl's Like Spaghetti.

Ooh, I didn't know there were other books. My library has the Spaghetti book. Thanks for posting. My 10yo loved the original books.

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I was looking at the samples of the children's version on Amazon and, while I got the humor, I didn't think it was effective because, in the examples I saw, the addition of a comma was incorrect. Here's a (slightly crude) example from the book:


Eat here and get gas.


Eat here, and get gas.


According to them, the first one means that if you eat here you will develop intestinal gas and the second one, simply by adding a comma, means that you can eat here and you can also get gas for your car.


That's wrong. There shouldn't be a comma either way. The sentence is imperative and has a compound verb. (You) eat and get. And gas is a direct object for the "get" part. You don't use a comma to separate two parts of a compound verb. Even if you claim that (you) could be added to both parts of the verb to get two clauses ( (You) eat here, and (you) get gas), it doesn't changes the meaning of the sentence.


What changes the meaning of the sentence is not a comma, but the interpretation of the word "gas," and that can't be changed with a comma.


What am I missing?


ETA: I guess I'm not the only one with this complaint. Here's a link to a blog post about this very issue.

Edited by EKS
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