Why settle for a normal book on grammar when you could learn new things about it and become your own best self at the same time? If you’re looking for a traditional manual of rules, this much-acclaimed, groundbreaking book by a cofounder of Harvard University’s Writing Center may not be the one for you. Grammar is about much more than rules: it’s about choices, too–since a thought can always be expressed correctly in multiple ways.
In Grammar for a Full Life, author Lawrence Weinstein reveals how our grammatical choices either stifle or boost our…
- sense of agency in life
- depth of connection to others
- and mindfulness.
Weinstein shows that certain tweaks to a person’s grammar can bring consequential changes in his or her fulfillment and well-being. In this wonderfully readable book, he describes some forty transformative moves that can be made with English punctuation and syntax. You’ll learn, for instance, why a greater use of active voice constructions builds assertive energy in us. You’ll discover how–paradoxically–cutting back on the “intensifiers” (exclamation marks and words like really, absolutely) heightens our awareness of the world.
My 5-Star Review
Grammar Geeks, you must read this book!
Why, you ask? I’m so glad you did.
Grammar by its very definition is the analysis and protocols for the structure of language. It gives specific guidelines for how to use the key elements of language, such as the nouns, verbs, adjectives, and intensifiers we all love so much, but most books about grammar don’t usually go beyond the ‘how and into the ‘why’. Why is it important to use active voice? Why should intensifiers, such as exclamation points, be carefully utilized, but not overused?
I can honestly say I’ve never read a book about grammar that incorporates spirituality and mindfulness, the psychology behind the fear of death, and how we think about sex….until now. Yes, you heard me correctly, Grammar for a Full Life reaches beyond the definition and soars into the possible and even the potentially improbable. Well, if you’re devoutly one of the ‘old-guard’, that is.
The author writes: “If you care about fostering a sense of community between us- a sense of shared presence- don’t just write to me. In your writing, be that person who you are in the flesh.” I particularly love this, because when I’m writing, especially for my blog, I write the way I speak….or more accurately, the way I think. Yes, I use a great deal of extraneous descriptors, prepositional phrases, multiple ellipses and parantheses; however, having read the above, I no longer spend inordinate amounts of time grappling with my verbosity. Oh, to be sure, one should never strive to out-do Charles Dickens with word usage, but the fact that some of us take joy in writing compound-complex sentences that would make the literary mogul proud isn’t a terrible thing.
Ah, but I digress. Lawrence’s opus on the usage, choices, and significance of all the parts of the language we use is an unexpected journey I thoroughly enjoyed. As a lover of words, I have always felt that the words we use to form our language is very much a synergistic inception, but now I comprehend …or rather, can appreciate more fully….just how mystical and magical the words, phrases, commas, conjunctions, contractions, punctuation and syntax truly are.
If you want to learn how to diagram a sentence or learn the golden rules of grammar, borrow a text book from the library. If, however, you already understand those basics and you’re ready to delve more deeply into the mysteries of word choice and our connection to each other and the universe, dare to open Grammar for a Full Life. The journey it takes you on is nothing short of facilitatively propicious..
Listen to Prof. Weinstein discuss his book on :