Season 2, Episode 4: Sex Work AUs

Cover Artist: Wolfie
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Featuring: This episode is all focused on a specific AU set – sex work! Robin_tcj joins us for a chat about the various kinds and our favorites among them, before Flerret does a plug of RurouniHime’s Place Your Bets. Professor Flame shows up for a brief history of how sex work has been treated in the offline world, before the Grammar Mustelid talks about verbs. We wrap up with a trope-off update, and your events forecast.

(I had some technical issues with my mic while recording this episode, so some of the segments might have some clicks and pops and I’m a bit mushy. My apologies! We’ve fixed them for next time. -Ferret)

Full Episode

Let’s Talk: Sex Worker AUs, The Plug: Place Your Bets, Professor Flame’s History Corner, Grammar Mustelid, Trope-Off, Events Forecast

(Scroll down for individual segments)

Show Notes:

Thanks to Wolfie, Marie, Only, and everyone who comments, tweets, messages. For a transcript of the Grammar Mustelid section, please scroll to the bottom of the show notes on the webpage.


Coming up on this episode…

Let’s Talk: Sex Work AUs
Taxonomy of Sex Work AUs, Do Strippers Count?, Flame Needs Glory Holes, Robin Doesn’t, But We All Need Chris Evans’ Truck Stop Photoshoot, Rhythms Within the AU

The Plug: Place Your Bets by RurouniHime
Earnest Steve Rogers, Idiots in Love, The Gorgeous Details of This Fic, Peak 2012 Vibes, The Power of the James’

Professor Flame History Corner, Trope-Off, Grammar Mustelid, Events Forecast

  • Grammar Mustelid
    • This segment is the first in a series of Grammar Mustelid minis that I’m calling “Mastering Verb Forms.” We’re going to talk about how verb conjugations form, different tenses in English, and subject verb agreement, but I’m going to spread it out over a few segments so it’s not too overwhelming.
    • This segment is going to end up being a bit foundational, introducing some of the terms and the concepts and explaining why this is very hard to get a hold of.
    • As always, if you end up with questions, please let me know and I can either answer them right there or make them part of a future segment (or both!).
    • So let’s break down a bit what tenses and conjugations are. First up: tenses. Verb tenses alter a verb to indicate *when* an action is taking place. There are three MAIN verb tenses – past, present, and future – and within them, four breakdowns: simple, perfect, continuous and perfect continuous.
    • There are more verb forms than the tenses I just listed and we’ll break those down more in another segment and get into the details of how we form them and what they mean.
    • So let’s get into conjugation. Conjugation is the process of altering the verb form to fit both the subject and the tense. Even when there’s no apparent change in the form of a verb, it still carries that information with it, but it can make it harder to spot and harder to understand why things are formed the way that they are.
    • Each verb has the infinitive form. This is the “base” unconjugated form that carries no tense or agreement information. In English, the infinitives have the word “to” as part of them. To run, to walk, to dance, to kiss. When we form tenses, we drop the “to” and we change either the end or middle (or… all, really) of the verb to make it fit both the tense and the subject.
    • So for “To kiss,” in simple present, we would have I kiss, you kiss, he kisses, she kisses, they kiss, we kiss. It can be somewhat deceiving because I kiss and you kiss appear to be the same verb form, but in a silent, meta way, they are not, and it’s best to think of them as homophonic versions of different words because those similarities are not universal across all verbs. Sadly.
    • So what about verbs that do look different? Well, unfortunately, English has around 200 irregular verbs. That means all 200 have to be memorized because their conjugation patterns don’t match other verbs’. “Drive” for example. I drive, you drive, he drives, she drives, they drive, we drive. That all looks the same as kiss but in simple past we get I drove you drove he drove she drove they drove we drove. Whereas for kiss we get kissed, which is the regular pattern.
    • While you may have talked about regular and irregular verbs when studying a second language, it rarely comes up when studying your first. If English is your first and only language, you may never have talked about regular and irregular verbs, just learned the exceptions naturally through exposure and correction.
    • I think English is both hard and easy when it comes to verb conjugations. As you could see with drove and kissed, often agreement with the subject is the same across the board. Whereas with a language like French, those are often different. But when you balance that with a huge list of irregulars, (and some of those irregulars are very, very irregular), it can make it really hard to understand the basis behind the patterns that your brain automatically knows how to do because of the way humans learn language. And that in turn makes it hard to learn English as a second language and also hard for native speakers to know what to do when they’re faced with a word they’ve never encountered before.
    • The most challenging part of tenses, in my opinion, is how naturally we learn to conjugate in our first language. When something is that innate and we’re learning it so effectively well before we learn it in school (where, if we’re lucky, we might learn how it works), it makes it very difficult both to understand why we do it, and also to learn it by rote for second and third languages. 
    • So that’s kind of a broad overview of tenses and conjugation, what they’re used for and how they’re formed but also sort of an acknowledgement that this is hard and it might be new for you. And you might know naturally how to do all of the things we’re going to talk about but you’ve never really fully processed the structure behind it. So hopefully this has given you a bit of a structure.
    • In the next segment, we’re going to talk about the verb tenses I mentioned earlier. Then in another we’ll talk about the non-tense forming verb constructions like the gerund and what participles and auxiliaries are. And in the last of this series, we’ll talk about some other tense forms like imperative, conditional, subjunctive, and more, which again, you may have only heard if you studied a second language.
    • If you have any questions, let me know, and I hope this helped!

Music Credit:

On My Way by Kevin MacLeod

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