If You Love to Watch Paint Dry…..

….you’ll love this book! 😁  

A gift from a FAR more erudite family member, I brought this book along with me on vacation so I’d no longer have to say “gee, I haven’t gotten around to reading that yet”. The problem now is I can’t get past page 36, and even that was a stretch. 

It’s written by a woman who was a copy editor at The New Yorker so you can imagine the hilarity. She talks about The New Yorker being “the bastion of prescriptivism”. Page turner. Not. 

She goes into great length about refusing to look up any word online. Ultracrepidate. But you know what that means, right? 

Long story short I’m going to have to fib to the person who gave it to me and say I thought the book was great (okay, it’s from my sister who reads about ten books a MONTH). I am worried that I’ll get caught in the fib if she asks me what I thought about the “amazing last chapter”. I’m going on the premise that there is nothing amazing past page 36 and that I’ve done my duty to my sister  for reading that much. 

I’m reading Provenance now. Much better. 

7 thoughts on “If You Love to Watch Paint Dry…..

  1. I checked Amazon. A number of readers were disappointed in the editing of The Norris book. It’s funny because I found the Bryson book very well edited which really enhanced the pleasure of reading it.
    You can love the person who recommended a book but that doesn’t mean you have to love the book.

  2. You’ve missed all the hilarity in chapter 5 on serial commas.

    Not quite as good as:

    Eats, Shoots & Leaves Quotes (showing 1-30 of 79)
    “A panda walks into a cafe. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and fires two shots in the air.

    “Why?” asks the confused waiter, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife annual and tosses it over his shoulder.

    “I’m a panda,” he says, at the door. “Look it up.”

    The waiter turns to the relevant entry and, sure enough, finds an explanation.

    Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.”
    ― Lynne Truss, Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation

    1. That’s hysterical! As an amateur grammarian myself (except here in my own blog where I type what my brain concocts, with little attention to real punctuation) I thought I’d get a real kick out of Mary Norris’s book. That I can’t means that the average reader who doesn’t really care about commas, isn’t going to get as far as page 36.

  3. EOS – you’re not alone. I got about half way through and then bailed. Wonderful premise, but didn’t deliver.

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