Why, hello there. Are you the young man who sent me a message via Tinder? The one that said, “happy valentines day,” followed by “your hot,” followed by “wanna bang?”

Oh, my poor boy. How naughty you have been.

Have I got a preposition—sorry, proposition—for you. I’m the Comma-natrix, and my kink is grammar. I really get off when I find someone with terrible grammar whom I can correct.

Note my proper use of “whom.” “Whom” is also my safe word.

I’m currently looking for a sub; for me, that’s short for “subordinate clause.” I refer to all my partners as such. If you’d like to spend some time with me, please submit a piece of original writing between 2,000 and 10,000 words. Track changes, comments—I’ll do it all. And you can bet your sweet ass that I’m going to make passive-aggressive notes about how you end sentences with prepositions. Or, if you prefer, I could print it out and make changes… by hand. There will by hieroglyphic markings everywhere: those three underlines for capitalization, that slash for lower case—and I’ll just keep going even when you’re screaming out, “Stet! Stet! Stet!”

If you send a picture of your penis, make sure it’s always capitalized, if you know what I mean. And I love a dangling participle—the longer, the better. Now, listen here and listen close. Can you feel my breath hot upon your ear? I don’t like Oxford commas. But I know you do, you worm. You’re a disgusting, needless scourge upon humanity, just like that pretentious punctuation mark.

I do it all. Periods don’t scare me. I love to play around with colons (semicolons for the beginners). I’ll show you my asterisk if you show me your carrot. I even have a thing for footnotes. I know what you’re thinking: footnotes have nothing to do with grammar, but with a structure, especially when it comes to narrative form. And to that I retort: start reading aloud Infinite Jest like the little bitch you are while I spank you with Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. In case you didn’t already know, “bitch” is a common noun, just like you.

Oh, have I mentioned that I swing both ways? That’s right, I do AP and Chicago Style. How many grammarians can say that?

Nor do I shy away from variety. If you dare call me simple, I’ll show you a compound-complex sentence so long you’ll pass out. Speaking of, I put the “ass” in “passive voice.” Or should I say, the “ass” is put in “passive voice” by me. Ooh, being naughty can be fun sometimes! I can get possessive, my little subordinate clause. I’ll love you even more if you’ve got participle piercings, but if you’re far from pluperfect then don’t worry. I’ll still have you, regular or irregular, and obviously I’ll call you by your proper pronouns. You should know that I’m into exhibitionism: I have zero qualms with calling out improper grammar in casual conversation, even with someone I barely know. The sheer thrill is worth getting kicked out of all those potlucks.

So no, it’s not “valentines day” but “Valentine’s Day,” not “your hot” but “You’re hot,” not “wanna bang?” but “Want to sadistically demean me for my poor grammar skills?”

And the answer to that is, abso-fucking-lutely.


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