Saturday, 3 July 2021

Six Degrees of Separation ~ Eats, Shoots and Leaves

  Eats, Shoots and Leaves
Truss, Lynne "Eats, Shoots and Leaves" - 2005

#6Degrees of Separation:

from Eats, Shoots and Leaves to The Story of English

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love the idea. See more about this challenge, its history, further books and how I found this here.

This month's prompt starts with Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss.

This is the first time since I participate in this challenge that I have actually read the starter book. I remember it as a very funny book about English spelling, grammar and punctuation and the problems of today's generation with it.

When I think of funny and non-fiction and language, Bill Bryson comes to mind. He has written several books about language, "Mother Tongue" probably being the one to start with but "Made in America" and "Troublesome Words" are just as great.
Bryson, Bill "Mother Tongue" - 1990

This reminds me of another funny book about languages, the title itself is already hilarious:
Croker, Charlie "Løst in Tränšlatioπ. Misadventures in English Abroad" - 2006
This is about language and how it can be understood and expressed quite differently in different countries.

And that leads us to another book with the same title, spelled correctly this time:
Sanders, Ella Frances "Lost in Translation. An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World" - 2014
The author collected words from across the globe that cannot really be translated.

We can always try to understand a culture better through their language and that is what the author Yu Hua tries to do in his work.
Yu, Hua (余華/Yú Huá) "China in Ten Words" (Chinese: 十個詞彙裡的中國/Shi ge cihui li de Zhongguo) - 2012
The book teaches us a lot about life in China during the lifetime of the author, born 1960.

Which brings me to another book about China, England and language.
Guo, Xiaolu (郭小橹) "Language" - 2017
This is like a diary of the young girl who comes to England with just a little knowledge of the language.

And we're back in England where Joseph Piercy tells us the story of English.
Piercy, Joseph "The Story of English: How an Obscure Dialect became the World's Most-Spoken Language" - 2012

I think it's interesting that the covers of those books are all one colour, mostly cream-y. The only really colourful exception is Bill Bryson's book but then his books are always quite special.

Look for further monthly separation posts here.


  1. Well, you certainly took this one very literally! Hm... I wonder if that book about untranslatable words includes any in Hebrew? I can think of a few that you can almost, but not exactly translate!

    1. Thanks, Davida. Sometimes that's what comes to mind right away.

      I just checked the book. There are words from all sorts of languages, however, none from Hebrew. There are some Yiddish words: Shlimazel, Trepverter and Luftmensch (which could also be a German word).

      I think every language has those sort of words and it would be lovely to have more of those books. Maybe we should add all the words we know from different languages and write a new book. ;)

  2. Very interesting meme. I enjoyed your chain.
    Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynne Truss is one of my favourite books!

    1. Thanks, Lectrice. I loved it, as well, and was so happy to finally see a starter book that I read. And since I love anything about languages, this is what I came up with.

  3. Great connections! It made sense you connected it to Bryson. Thanks, I added China in Ten Words to my TBR.
    This month, I'm planning to read a related classic: History in English Words, by Owen Barfield

    1. Thanks, Emma. When I think language and books about language, Bill Bryson is the first that comes to mind.

      I saw that you read that book on your blog and thought it would fit right in with my chain. Sounds really interesting. Looking forward to your review.