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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 February, 2004, 13:42 GMT
Grammar book enriches publishers
Lynne Truss
Author Lynne Truss was surprised by public interest in punctuation
A book about the misuse of English grammar has transformed the fortunes of a small British publisher.

Profile Books in London will double its turnover to over 5m after the success of Lynne Truss' bestseller Eats, Shoots and Leaves.

The book has now sold more than 480,000 copies after an initial print run of just 15,000.

"It seems there are more sticklers for grammar than we first thought," said a spokeswoman for the publisher.

There are currently 700,000 copies in print and the book will be published in the US by Penguin in April.

Eats, Shoots and Leaves was orginally commissioned by Profile Books founder Andrew Franklin when he bumped into Truss at a party in December 2002.

Truss had written a Radio 4 series called Cutting A Dash and Mr Franklin suggested it would make a good book.


The publishing house puts its success down to a renewed interest in grammar and the lively tone of the book.

"Some people are passionate about grammar and there are people who want to check it out if they're unsure of anything," said the Profile spokeswoman.

"No-one thought you could write about such a potentially dry subject in such a fun way," she added.

Truss told BBC One Breakfast last year she was "astounded" by the runaway success of the book, which takes its title from a grammatical anecdote about pandas.

Posters for films like Two Weeks Notice and signs bearing grammatical howlers like "Mens Toilets" were among the examples that prompted her "punctuation anarchy", she told the programme.

Truss has written comic novels in the past and Profile Books will be republishing three of these in the summer, Going Loco, With One Lousy Packet of Seeds and Tennyson's Gift along with her collection of writings called Making the Cat Laugh.

Truss is also writing six monologues for radio and is adapting a Stella Gibbons novel for Radio 4.

Quiz: How's your punctuation?
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