The Story of Sexy Grammar: My Ovaries & Your Dissertation

“Do you feel that?” I ask the young woman leaning into my body with her eyes shut.
“Uh huh,” she says, concentrating.
“That’s my ovary.
She opens her eyes, elated. “Wow! I felt it! I get it!”

Before I became The Sexy Grammarian, I taught medical students  how to provide comfortable and effective genital exams for Project Prepare, where I still pick up shifts because I love the work so much.

Later, I read my student’s course evaluation: The best thing about this session, she writes, was putting the book knowledge together with the real thing–like feeling an actual ovary. That’s learning!

Providing this kind of radical sex education offers me the thrill and sacred duty of applying theory to the 3-dimensional world. Dissertations and other big academic writing projects require enthusiasm for the same scientific magic. You’ve got to write about what you’ve learned and how it applies to real life. That’s why I love helping people finish their degrees and find joy, pride, and satisfaction in their work.

The Sexy Grammarian loves learning just like you. Private Sessions with The Sexy G ease the rigorous climb to academic writing achievement with compassionate guidance and gentle support. Get a free Private Session now.

 

The Family Business: Wild Hair Ranch

This is a 5-star review.

The Wild Hair Ranch

San Luis Obispo, California

We had not set out for a writing retreat weekend. We did not go to The Wild Hair Ranch to bathe. But in this magical and well-appointed country farm house where our extended family gathered to share a roof for a wedding weekend, I found inspiration and a bathtub I’m still pining for.

The owners have pulled off a rental-by-owner miracle, inviting renters into their everyday home rather than a weekend or in-law space, and they do it with a sense of generosity and pride in their dream home. Outdoor features included a trampoline that entertained kids and adults alike, an abundant and welcoming vegetable garden, a lively chicken coop, a hidden tree house, and a wood-stocked fire-pit. We played hard, and when we retreated indoors, we enjoyed a kitchen large and sturdy enough for a family full of cooks, a playroom with a fire pole, musical instruments, and dreamy beds for all twelve of our clan.

Industrial Chic, my dad called the design aesthetic. He’s got a way with words. The modern architecture straddles the folksy comfort of a farmhouse barn and the urban pragmatism of modern architecture. The Wife and I scored the guest room, which adjoins the master bath, and there we found Wild Hair Ranch’s most luxurious amenity, a soaking tub with room for two and a sublime view of the surrounding fields and hills.

There’s something about getting away, out in the country, or being in a professionally decorated environment, or on a farm, or under an architecturally innovative roof–I’m not sure which–that inspires me. So in spite of our harried wedding weekend schedule, in spite of a house full of family, in spite of my preoccupation with my tiny niece and nephews, I found myself up early each morning, parked in some sunny, comfortable nook or other, writing.

So is it a place for a writing retreat? Maybe. Maybe you could plan a raucous one with a dozen of your best writing collaborators, or perhaps a business retreat for you and a handful of your company’s leaders.

Writers and small business owners, we suggest you whisk yourself away on a writing or strategy retreat. This review has been cross posted on VRBO, and on Yelp you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.

Past Perfect Tense: Dear Sexy G,

Dear Sexy Grammarian,
I have a grammar question!! Would you say: I thought we finally realized or I thought we had finally realized? Does it matter?

Thank you for your continued dedication to grammar and sexiness,
Christine

Hi Christine! Thanks for writing. You’re talking about the difference between past perfect and past tense here. Depending on your meaning, either of your examples might be okay. You’re telling a story in this sentence that definitely happened in the past: I thought.

Now, whether to make the other verb in your sentence past tense (finally realized) or past perfect (had finally realized) depends on when you thought that final realization took place.

Past perfect describes a past that took place before the past tense. So, did you think you had finally realized at some time before you thought about finally realizing? Probably. In that case, you should write, I thought we had finally realized. But on the off chance that you thought you were realizing something at the same time you were thinking it, you might write, I thought we finally realized.

Yours,

The Sexy Grammarian

Frequently, a client or online fan shares a burning grammar question, and I always post answers here on the blog.  If you have a question, don’t hesitate to write to me. Looking for more attention? Get affordable, project-focused private sessions in person or via Skype or email.

Role-Swapping: Subjects, Objects, and a Sexy Trick for Sentence Revision

What do you think of this sentence?

Kiki handed the handcuffs to Al.

When your action is hot, but the sentence is not, try looking at your nouns and their syntax, the roles they play in the sentence.

Kiki is the subject, which drives the action of the sentence.

Handcuffs is the direct object, which receives the action of the verb handed.

Al is the indirect object, which receives the direct object handcuffs.

We’ve got some awfully sexy nouns to work with here, so let’s experiment with role-swapping. That is, change the syntax. What happens when we put Al in the driver’s seat as the subject? What is Al doing?

Al accepted the handcuffs from Kiki.

That’s different at least, but I’m still not feeling it. What if the handcuffs become the subject? What are the handcuffs doing?

The handcuffs fell from Kiki‘s hands into Al‘s.

See how the hot action of the sentence just got a little hotter? By swapping the nouns until you find the sexiest possible syntax, you can build sexy sentences every time.

The Sexy Grammarian teaches writers to create tight, juicy, scantily clad sentences and combines sexually explicit examples with grammar instruction, but she never does it alone. Writing this post, she got extra help from the twitterverse, specifically @EditorMark  @JulieFrayn @GrammarROCKS, and @mededitor. Thanks, tweeps!

Check out more Sexy Grammar lessons. Get a Private Session with the Sexy Grammarian.

Teasing Trevor: When To Use A Comma With Dependent Clauses

Do you know which of these sentences needs another comma?

A. I liked the angle of Trevor’s jaw so I winked at him.
B. He surprised me when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.
C. I wanted to chew on those lips which seemed so juicy and pink.

Examples A & C each need a comma added but for different reasons.

Both clauses in Example A could stand on their own as complete sentences. They are independent clauses, and you need a conjunction (in this case, so) and a comma if you want to stick them together.

I liked the angle of Trevor’s jaw.

I winked at him.

I liked the angle of Trevor’s jaw, so I winked at him.

Example C also contains two clauses.

1. I wanted to chew on those lips.

2. Seemed so juicy and pink.

But the second clause doesn’t work as a complete sentence, does it? Example C combines a dependent clause and an independent clause, and they need a comma between them.

I wanted to chew on those lips, which seemed so juicy and pink.

Example B also combines an independent clause and a dependent clause, but these two clauses don’t need a comma between them.

independent clause: He surprised me

dependent clause: when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.

complete sentence: He surprised me when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.

What’s the difference between Example B’s dependent clause and Example C’s dependent clause? Why does one need a comma and not the other?

B. He surprised me when he sustained eye contact and circled his lips with his tongue.
C. I wanted to chew on those lips, which seemed so juicy and pink.

In Example B, the dependent clause changes the meaning of the sentence. Trevor didn’t just surprise the narrator in general. Trevor surprised the narrator by sustaining eye contact and circling his lips with his tongue. This dependent clause is restrictive. It restricts the meaning of the sentence. With restrictive dependent clauses, you don’t need a comma.

By contrast, the dependent clause in Example C simply adds description. It’s nonrestrictive. Take it away, and the meaning of the sentence remains the same. The narrator wants to chew Trevor’s lips. And by the way–not that it changes things at all–those lips seem juicy and pink. With restrictive dependent clauses, you need a comma.

Here are a few more examples:

nonrestrictive dependent clause—needs commas: His eyes, when they sustained contact with mine, surprised me.

restrictive dependent clause—no comma needed: I wanted to chew on the parts of him that seemed juicy and pink.

nonrestrictive dependent clause—needs a comma: I touched Trevor’s knee, which got his attention.

restrictive dependent clause—no comma needed: Trevor’s knee wasn’t the part of him that I really wanted to touch.

At Sexy Grammar, we teach writers to create tight, juicy, scantily clad sentences, and we combine sexually explicit examples with grammar instruction. You can be a sexy writer, and we can teach you how.

Check out more Sexy Grammar lessons. Get a Private Session with the Sexy Grammarian.

When Nelly Caught Ginny: Phrases, Clauses, and Complete Sentences

Which of these sentences sounds complete to you?

A. Through the drawer of vibrators.
B. Ginny loved it.
C. Playing with other people’s toys.
D. Nelly didn’t mind.

Examples B & D are complete sentences. Examples A and C are fragment sentences. Do you know how to tell the difference?

A complete sentence needs two basic parts of speech: a noun (the subject) and a verb.

That’s why on its own, example A is just a fragment sentence. The drawer and the vibrators give you some nouns to work with, but you’ve got no verb–just a phrase. A phrase does not have both subject and verb. On it’s own, a phrase is just a fragment sentence. Below, it is a phrase in a complete sentence.

Ginny pawed through the drawer of vibrators.

As part of the complete sentence below, example C is a phrase too.

Ginny loved playing with other people’s toys.

Unlike phrases, clauses do have both a subject and a verb.

E. When Nelly caught Ginny.

F. Ginny looked so hot.

But just because a clause has both a subject and a verb doesn’t mean it can stand on its own as a complete sentence. Which of the clauses above do you think is a fragment sentence, and which is a complete sentence?

Example E doesn’t quite make sense on its own. We’re waiting to hear what happened when Nelly caught Ginny. The thought is incomplete, a sentence fragment. But as part of the complete sentence below, we call it a dependent clause.

When Nelly caught Ginny, she didn’t mind.

Example F stands on its own. It’s got a subject, Ginny, and a verb, looked, and the thought’s completed. It’s an independent clause, and it can be a complete sentence on its own.

Still, it’s okay to combine independent clauses with other clauses and phrases to make more interesting and complicated complete sentences.

Ginny looked so hot jerking off.

Ginny looked so hot with Nelly’s vibrator.

Ginny looked so hot that Nelly didn’t mind her playing with other people’s toys.

At Sexy Grammar, we teach writers to create tight, juicy, scantily clad sentences and stories that climax. We incite sexy, bold, free writers. And we combine sexually explicit examples with grammar instruction. You can be a sexy writer, and we can teach you how. We believe that sexy writing is clear, concise, and packed with the delicious, descriptive words that make us all love the art of writing.

Check out more Sexy Grammar lessons. Get a Private Session with the Sexy Grammarian.

The Perfect Retreat

The Wife and I both needed to work on our business strategy for the year, so we headed to the country, to Auburn, California to the most luxurious and well-appointed vacation home we’ve stumbled upon. The owners, Jeanne and Bob, provided everything we desired: a variety of pleasant work spaces, inspiring surroundings, and a relaxing environment–truly paradise for these two city mice.

Design and style-wise, much thought and effort have perfected this gorgeous place. We worked, yes, but we also reclined a lot and luxuriated in sumptuous details: arrival wine, exquisite flower arrangements, a gloriously comfortable bed, and a vast garden in full bloom. We spent work breaks in the pool or the hot tub or playing chaotic games of ping pong. The kitchen appliances and equipment made cooking a joy. The two fireplaces made lousy weather a non-issue.

And the birds! They entertained and serenaded us through several very serious meetings and brainstorming sessions. What an unexpected delight!

Small business owners, we suggest you whisk yourself away on a writing or strategy retreat. This review has been cross posted on VRBO, and on Yelp you can read all The Sexy Grammarian’s cafe reviews as well as reviews clients have written about our services.