Saturday, May 30, 2009

Grammatical Erotica, Part II

Become master of all the forms of punctuation.

1. Comma

The comma is to punctuation what the missionary position is to sex: It's basic, common, necessary, and overused. To write sexy, potent, thong-dropping prose, we should draw upon the full range of punctuation, not limiting ourselves to the comma. Alas, the English language offers far fewer possibilities for punctuation than the Kama Sutra does for sex, but a mastery of at least four more "positions"--the dash, the colon, the semicolon, and the parentheses--can do wonders for variety and rhythm in prose.

2. Semicolon

The semicolon is like changing positions during sex; it offers alteration of direction without loss of continuity—something like a woman switching from cowgirl to reverse cowgirl without getting off the cock. Or since semicolons make a merger of two independent yet compatible sentences, we can think of the semicolon as a polyamorous couple hook-up; two sentences, which could stay apart, get linked together to form a more intriguing, complex sentence thanks to the semicolon.

3. Colon

The colon offers possibility for a more dramatic change than the semicolon. It stops—but just for a moment—the flow of sentence, as it grabs attention for what follows. When we use the colon, the shift is not from one position to another: Instead it’s like moving from vaginal to anal intercourse. You need to be careful, however, not to insert more than one colon in the same sentence: Otherwise it gets too confusing for the reader. But consider this analogy: The masterful insertion of a colon and a semicolon in the same sentence can be a blissful overload; it is the DP—the double punctuation--of grammar-fucking.

4. The Dash

The dash rocks; it may be my favorite mark of punctuation. The employ the dash at an intriguing point in a sentence—damn, it's like inserting fingers inside a pussy during cunnilingus. The dash adds some verve--indeed intensity--to a sentence. You can, like Faulkner, circle around and around with long sentences, sentences that just go on and on, as if you are writing them on a hot, lazy summer day in Mississippi, and you are writing as if to capture the rhythms of oral speech or tale telling in your prose, but the reader feels you don't know how to unfold the point and proceed more sharply, so then you need something quicker and faster--the dash--to speed things up. For enhanced vigor, or to give your prose some verbal Viagra, you can insert at least two dashes or maybe even three or four in a sentence. Right now, my dear, I want to unfold you--tongue you--and wiggle-waggle two...three...four fingers inside of you, honeying you up and making you as petal-open as a flower receiving the first morning ray of sunshine.

5. The Exclamation

Confession: I was tempted to use an exclamation mark at the end of the last sentence. But the exclamation mark--despite its wonderfully phallic shape (!)--is my least favorite form of punctuation. The exclamation mark annoys me as much as underlining. It's like the way Oliver Stone uses music in his movies: he pounds the point into you, bludgeoning your ear, when something less loud, less insistent would be more effective. (Meanwhile, the parentheses intrigues and allures.)

6. The Parentheses

Just as it can be so much fun to insert two or three or maybe even four fingers inside a woman while going down on her, it can similarly intrigue and excite to insert two or three--maybe even four or five--forms of punctuation in the same sentence: the colon, the semicolon, the parentheses, and the dash. (The ellipsis also should never be neglected.)

7. Ellipsis

Now the ellipsis, like beautiful lingerie, can intrigue and allure. It’s at once breathtaking and suggestive. You see it, and it gives you pause, but you know it’s linked to something that will follow, so you must go forward. Or maybe the ellipsis is like when you are fooling around in bed in a hotel and the housekeeper knocks and then she enters...everything just stops, for a bit...or it should stop...but with passionate, uninhibited lovers, it's just a comma of a pause, a suspended moment, as they are cool, natural, unashamed, and, if interrupted, they just wrap each other up in their arms, smile...and then continue. Or, to try another metaphor, an ellipsis is like when you move from kissing and tonguing nipples in foreplay to move ower a series of short, quick kisses..... from bosom to belly button....and then when you are all the way down there.... just lingering kisses and licks…..between and below…and bit inside…then more inside….then…..xoxoxoxo.

8. The Period.

The period is inevitable. It brings a stop to the sentence. But just because a period happens does not mean the end of the paragraph. After a period, we can start a new sentence, resuming, if you will, verbal intercourse.

9. The Question Mark

The question mark—particularly when used in a rhetorical question—can’t it be so damn sexy? Isn’t the question mark something akin to the look? You know what look I’m talking about, don’t you? What can be more exciting to a man then when a woman gives him that look? Are you man enough to take me? Are you up for the luckiest night of your life? Are you ready to rise to the challenge? Can you fuck me in a way I’ll never forget?

10. Of course, when it comes to the language of lovemaking, forget style, grammar, etc...and just moan.

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