1. an occurrence of only superficial interest or content; a dull or insignificant occasion.
2. an event or situation that is anticipated but does not occur or occurs with much less than the expected impact, especially one that has been widely publicized; anticlimax.
|(")A non-event,(") says Phil, (")is better to write about than an event, because with a non-event(,) you can make up the meaning yourself,[sic (should be ; )] it means whatever you say it means.(")
-- Margaret Atwood, Bluebeard's Egg, 1983
Is channeling ULYSESES now in vogue?
The Iowa Basic Skills tests still expect students to use proper punctuation for compound and complex sentences. From Second grade, on, in simple forms, in more difficult examples from third grade. I'm not sure when direct quotation marks are added to the list, later on, but certainly still in grade school.
Evidently it means whatever you say it means, no matter what it looks like, or if a confusing structure results.
Punctuation score: +3, -4 (each pair of "xxx" = 1 if both are missing.)
I was calling this stuff Grammar Gaffes, but it more exactly should be Punctuation Potholes...
(I own several of her books, and enjoyed reading them, but they were later works, beginning with Oryx and Crake, which, had the quotation marks been missing, might have signaled an unreliable narrator. I have not read Bluebeard's Egg, nor do I own it.)