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Misplaced modifier?

Switch Blayde

"Okay," I said, flushed and already smelling my wet pussy in the air.


I just read the above in a story. Is it a misplaced modifier? When I read it, I imagined her pussy floating in the air.

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

since the smell has to be in the air for it to be a smell, the last three words must apply to the pussy - and that makes you wonder why she wet her cat and threw it up in the air.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Ernest Bywater

since the smell has to be in the air for it to be a smell


I think the author meant the smell filled the air. Like if you walked into a room and smelled what was being cooked rather than leaning over it and smelling it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
sejintenej

@Switch Blayde

"Okay," I said, flushed and already smelling my wet pussy in the air.

A good example of why editors have to be vigilant (I nearly wrote "on the ball"). When I read that my eye was taken by the word "flushed" and I immediately thought of water in the loo. The word flushed needs a noun such as "my face was flushed as the smell of my wet pussy pervaded the air".

Ernest Bywater

@Switch Blayde

I think the author meant the smell filled the air. Like if you walked into a room and smelled what was being cooked rather than leaning over it and smelling it.


That may well have been what they were trying to say, but it's not what they wrote.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

That may well have been what they were trying to say, but it's not what they wrote.

I'd just finished flushing one pussy down the crapper when I smelled another floating over my head. Luckily, I had my shotgun handy, though it made a mess of the walls!

Chris Podhola

@Switch Blayde

"Okay," I said, flushed and already smelling my wet pussy in the air.


I would have to agree with everybody on this one. This sentence has numerous issues. As it is written, my thought process was:

"Okay," I said, flushed (the toilet, was my first thought), and already (already has a misplaced feel to it) smelling my wet pussy in the air (makes me want to imagine her sitting on the toilet smelling her pussy which is floating in front of her).

Lol.

If I edited this, I would revise it to say:

"Okay," I said, my face heating up (usually saying flushed is a color reference. In first person you don't see your own face, so I steer away from flushed unless describing someone other than (I)), the smell of my pussy permeating the air.

***Note*** depending on the importance of the paragraph, I may choose to put more into it, which is a distinct possibility, because I see potential with this sentence as an opener to a hot scene. Whenever opening into a scene, I usually like to start strong, such as:

"Okay, okay," I said, steeling myself for what I thought was coming. He stood above me, the bulge in his pants protruding and when I saw it, I knew his intentions weren't honorable. My face began to burn and before things began to get off the ground, the scent of my pussy drifted from between my legs, wafting to my nose reminding me just how much I wanted him.

Or something like that, depending on what the story was about.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Chris Podhola

(makes me want to imagine her sitting on the toilet smelling her pussy which is floating in front of her).


I didn't have a problem with "flushed." She was overheated (which is why she was able to smell her scent). But it sounded like her pussy was floating in the air rather than the scent.

I was asking if that's a misplaced modifier.

Speaking of "scent," the author uses "odor" when I believe he/she means "scent." To me, odor is a bad smell and when the author uses it, it's a nice smell.

It's a really well-written story, btw.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

peaking of "scent," the author uses "odor" when I believe he/she means "scent." To me, odor is a bad smell and when the author uses it, it's a nice smell.


Personally, I would consider "odor" to be fairly neutral.

A bad smell would be a stink, stench, reek or something of that sort.

Crumbly Writer

@Dominions Son

Personally, I would consider "odor" to be fairly neutral.

A bad smell would be a stink, stench, reek or something of that sort.

I agree with Switch. Odor started (at least) as a negative modifier ("It had a foul odor" vs. "It had a pleasant smell").

Replies:   Dominions Son
Chris Podhola

@Dominions Son

"odor"


I don't know. I think I agree with Switch on this one. As a test, I tried to imagine myself describing a pleasant restaurant scene, describing all of the different smells coming from the kitchen, but when I used odor(s) I had less of a positive feeling about it than when I used other words like aroma, scent, smell, or bouquet.

I will agree that, stink, stench, reek etc, are more pungent in their description and leave an even less attractive feeling than odor, however.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Chris Podhola

I had less of a positive feeling about it than when I used other words like aroma, scent, smell, or bouquet.


That doesn't negate the neutrality of odor. Aroma and bouquet in particular have distinctly positive connotations, so you should have a more positive feeling using them than when using odor.

Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

I agree with Switch. Odor started (at least) as a negative modifier ("It had a foul odor" vs. "It had a pleasant smell").


You only get the negative to odor by adding the modifier "foul" You could just as easily say foul smell or a pleasant odor.

By the way, a Google search for the exact string "pleasant odor" has 182,000 results.

Including one from vocabulary.com which defines fragrant as "having a strong pleasant odor".

Switch Blayde

I stand corrected. I found this:

Odor - a clearly recognizable smell, normally issuing from a single source, that can be both pleasant and unpleasant.

'If you venture deep into the forest, you'll discover many different odors, some delightful, and others not so pleasant.'


However, the above was followed by:

Keep in mind that odor can also be used negatively, to refer to a distinctively unpleasant smell:

'When she walked into the kitchen, the odor of cheese upset her nostrils.'

Because of this negative way in which odor is sometimes used, it's often safer to use smell to odor when describing someone's place or house or when referring to a place or an object that belongs to someone.

'Your car certainly has an interesting odor!'

'What do you mean, that my car stinks?'

'Oh, no! Only that your car has a distinctive smell!'

Dominions Son

@Switch Blayde

Personally I usually avoid odor because to me it sounds bland/clinical, particularly when used without modifiers.

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@Dominions Son

bland/clinica

Replies:   Dominions Son
Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Odor - a clearly recognizable smell, normally issuing from a single source, that can be both pleasant and unpleasant.

Thanks, Switch, that clears up the confusion. If "odor" specifies 'a distinctive and easily identifiable scent', then it would necessarily be associated with objectionable smells. However, your clarification clarifies it. One needs to be careful in how you apply the term due to that negative association.

Switch Blayde

Now that we got the stink of "odor" taken care of, my original question was:

Is the example a misplaced modifier?

I'll be the first to admit my technical knowledge of grammar is lacking which, I guess, is why I spend so much attention to it.

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@Switch Blayde

No. A misplaced modifier would be something like:

Ready for lunch, the bus carried the man down the highway.

In this case, the bus cannot be ready for lunch and a modifier should accompany what it is modifying in order to eliminate confusion.

If anything, your example is missing a modifier.

Dominions Son

@Chris Podhola

???

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@Dominions Son

???


If you have a question, I'm not sure what it is.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Chris Podhola

If you have a question, I'm not sure what it is.


You have a comment further up that quotes 1 and a fraction words from one of my comments but makes no comment of your own.

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@Dominions Son

Oh. I was agreeing with your assessment. I really had no comment. Just agreement.

tppm

@Switch Blayde

I don't see the problem. The scent of her pussy filled the air and she smelled it. (Must have been excessively strong, as one doesn't normally smell (or, more accurately, tunes out) one's own body odors.)

Chris Podhola

@tppm

The scent of her pussy filled the air and she smelled it.


When you write it your way, it makes perfect sense (in a hypothetical sense, but I do agree that it would be uncommon for a person to smell their own scent in the air).

The problem comes in the fact that the author didn't say, "I smelled the scent of my pussy in the air," but said, "already smelling my wet pussy in the air."

As the others have pointed out, there is plenty of potential for confusion. In a literal sense, what the author said was that the woman's pussy was in the air and she smelled it. Not just the scent of her pussy.

Chris Podhola

@tppm

The scent of her pussy filled the air and she smelled it.


When you write it your way, it makes perfect sense (in a hypothetical sense, but I do agree that it would be uncommon for a person to smell their own scent in the air).

The problem comes in the fact that the author didn't say, "I smelled the scent of my pussy in the air," but said, "already smelling my wet pussy in the air."

As the others have pointed out, there is plenty of potential for confusion. In a literal sense, what the author said was that the woman's pussy was in the air and she smelled it. Not just the scent of her pussy.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Chris Podhola

The scent of her pussy filled the air and she smelled it.

To add further confusion (and incorrect regional usages), how about: "The scent of her pussy filled the air and she smelt it (as opposed to "smelted")." 'D

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@Crumbly Writer

smelt


In a very regional sense, where I come from, smelt is a small fish eaten as a delicacy.

Replies:   ustourist
ustourist

@Chris Podhola

I think if you are referring to pussy and smelt in that context in the same sentence then nobody would want to want to know greater detail about the "fragrance".

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@ustourist

I think if you are referring to pussy and smelt in that context in the same sentence then nobody would want to want to know greater detail about the "fragrance".


Well, I guess that depends on how much they like smelt. Personally, I love it, so I might be more interested.

Wheezer

I was always told that if pussy smelled like Smelt, stay away from it! :o

Replies:   Chris Podhola
Chris Podhola

@Wheezer

I was always told that if pussy smelled like Smelt, stay away from it! :o


Nah. You don't have to stay away from it. You just have to wear more raincoats. Usually, one isn't enough if it smells that way.

Perv Otaku

I think
"Okay," I said, flushed and already smelling my wet pussy in the air.
is technically grammatically correct, but still problematic.

Consider these:
"Okay," I said, flushed.
"Okay," I said, already smelling my wet pussy in the air.

The second reads fine I think, though "in the air" is technically superfluous. All odors are in the air. If you are going to include those words, it might actually be better as "noticing the smell of my wet pussy in the air".

The main problem with the first is "flush" has so many definitions it may take your brain a while to sort through the context.

Now go back to the original sentence, and that multiple definition problem is only compounded because your brain has more sentence to deal with in trying to put it all together. In this instance, I would replace "flushed" with "blushing".

So, let's find out.
"Okay," I said, flushed and already smelling my wet pussy.
"Okay," I said, flushed and already noticing the smell of my wet pussy in the air.
"Okay," I said, blushing and already smelling my wet pussy.
"Okay," I said, blushing and already noticing the smell of my wet pussy in the air.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@Perv Otaku

Perv, I know longer remember the context of the story, but I believe the author was trying to show how aroused she was. He worded it poorly, though.

richardshagrin

There is always "Flushed with Pride". Which was the biography of the inventor of the flush toilet Sir Thomas Crapper.

I am not certain the above information is correct, it may have been a joke.

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