Comma One, Comma All! It's National Punctuation Day: Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss
A giant panda walks into a bar. "You can't drink here," the bartender says. "You're a panda. My liquor license doesn't cover pandas!"
"I'm a panda?" says the panda. "Prove it!"
The bartender pulls a dictionary out from under the bar, looks up "panda," and slaps it down on the counter, jabbing at the definition with his forefinger. "See!" he says. "Read it yourself. Sounds like you to me!"
The panda grabs the book and reads carefully. "Geez," he mutters. "I didn't know about this! Well, gimme a burger, then," he growls. "That ain't illegal, is it?"
The panda slams down the burger, yanks a pistol out, and shoots out all the bottles of booze lined up behind the bar. "So long," he mumbles, and starts for the door.
"Why the heck did you do that?" the flabbergasted barkeep yells.
"Just doin' what Webster says I'm supposed to do," the panda replies laconically, as he stomps out the door. "Says right there a panda eats, shoots, and leaves!"
See what happens when incorrect punctuation causes major misunderstandings? If author Lynn Truss has her way, misapplications of the comma, semi-colon, and apostrophe would shrink faster than a panda's habitat. A self-admitted stickler, Truss's little book Eats(,) Shoots and Leaves has become the bible of persnickety punctuation prudes all over the English-speaking world. Her examples of misapplied punctuation are hilarious, and her style is pugnacious but jolly, making the book a pleasant read for teenagers and adults. Within the humor, however, the point is made effectively that punctuation matters!
So think about it. What would you rather see on National Punctuation Day: a panda who eats shoots and leaves or a panda who eats, shoots, and leaves?