During the time in my life most rife with rejection and tears—in other words, the time period during which I was querying agents to get representation for Missed Periods and Other Grammar Scares—there was one agent who expressed interest but said she wasn’t comfortable with the target market I had specified in my proposal. I had indicated that the target market was both men and women; she felt that men would never buy a book with the words “Missed Periods” in the title.
I understood her point. When I started writing the book, I thought my target market was going to be female, but then I started the blog, and I was getting lots of male readers too, so I thought I might as well have the book embrace both sexes- you know, make the book bisexual.
And, today, I am extra glad I did because I just received an email from a MALE student that included this sentence:
That works fine see you then where do you have your office hours?
At first glance—and if you don’t read it—the sentence seems totally inoffensive, right? It looks like your average-sized interrogative sentence.
That sentence is an example of when size doesn’t matter. (It may, now that I think about it, be the only time when size doesn’t matter.) This sentence is not particularly long, but it is still a run-on sentence. In fact, it’s a particularly offensive run-on because it fuses three sentences into one.
A run-on is when there are two or more sentences fused together without any dividing punctuation. And, look, we’ve got three sentences:
1. That works fine.
2. See you then.
3. Where do you have your office hours?
Therefore, this is the correct version:
That works fine. See you then. Where do you have your office hours?
Talk about missed periods: this guy isn’t missing just one period—he’s missing two!
And the even scarier part is that when I posted his sentence into a Word document, it wasn't underlined in a green, squiggly line. I guess that means we can't rely on grammar check for protection.