Leading article: Eats, shoots and punctuates

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The Independent Online

As the means through which we can communicate with our fellow humans multiply each year, it is tempting to assume that grammar is a bit irrelevant. When we can text , BlackBerry and email our friends and colleagues by pressing a few buttons, to worry about the proper use of a semicolon may seem a waste of time. This theory is superficially attractive, but wrong.

Consider the huge success of Lynne Truss's grammar handbook Eats, Shoots and Leaves. This shows that even in our hectic society there is a yearning for correct grammar. Now the book is being adapted for children to be used as a teaching aid. This project deserves to succeed. Teaching children how to express themselves clearly in writing is still a crucial part of education. And instilling the rudiments early on will save aspiring journalists, tattooists and grocers from having to fork out for the reissued version of Ms Truss's book in a decade's time.