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  1. #1
    yellow river is offline Newbie
    Join Date
    May 2010

    what is the meaning...?

    I saw this phrase "eats, shoots and leaves" - what is the meaning?

  2. #2
    Barb_D's Avatar
    Barb_D is offline Moderator
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Other
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: what is the meaning...?

    It's a common phrase used to show the importance of punctuation. It's from a joke about a panda bear (there are other threads here with the joke) and then it was the title of a book about punctuation.

    In its non joke form: A panda bear eats [bamboo] shoots and leaves. A shoot is a new plant.

    In the joke, a panda orders food at a restaurant, and after eating, get up without paying, fires a gun into the ceiling and starts to walk out. The waitress says "Sir! You have to pay for your meal!" The panda hands her a badly punctuated guide and says "I'm a panda bear. Look it up." And the guide says "Panda bear: Eats, shoots, and leaves." -- In other words, he eats, then he fires a gun (shoots), and then he departs (leaves). It's a pun.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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