Because I read a lot, I can hardly say what my favorite book is. It’s even harder with movies, though I read more than I watch movies. I think, however, I may have narrowed it down to two: one fiction, one nonfiction. In the fiction corner, it’s Still Life with Woodpecker by Tom Robbins. Many of Robbins’ books are among my top… oh… 20 or so due to their humor, but Still Life is number one. I’m happy it was my first of Robbins’ books because it is undoubtedly the best in my mind, but it has made it hard for subsequent books to live up to the standard of Still Life. (And a big thank you to Patrick at Milkweed Editions for recommending Robbins to me; I am forever indebted.)
In the nonfiction corner is, without a doubt (mostly because I’m not a huge nonfiction fan), Eats, Shoots, and Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation. There’s a few things I love about this book. 1. I get to read about punctuation in a humorous way, and understand that I’m not alone in caring. 2. I get to learn about the differences between British and American usage, and I find that infinitely interesting. I will be the first to admit that I don’t get punctuation perfect–not in chat, and not in blog, but I try my damnedest when I write technically–but I definitely am a stickler for what I consider the very basics: comma usage and apostrophe usage. I expect people to know the difference between “they’re,” “there,” and “their.” I expect people not to write “I’m leaving home, and arriving there on Friday.” And silly me, I expect them to know why.
However, the most awesome thing about Eats, Shoots, and Leaves–the #3 on my list of why I love the book–is that it introduced me to the interrobang. “What is the interrobang,” you ask? It’s something you use frequently without ever knowing what it was called. To demonstrate interrobang usage, I invite you to rephrase your question. Try “What the fuck is the interrobang?!” There! Did you see it? That little twist in the sentence that signifies surprise as well as question. But, did you know there is an actual symbol for the interrobang? ‽ POW! Wait, that didn’t have enough oomph….
That, kids, is the interrobang. And in hopefully just a few days, I will be the proud owner of these amazing interrobang earrings. And you can’t have them. Neener.