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, creativity, 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.
There is not too much about personality and life that Weinstein doesn’t see benefitting from a wiser use of grammar. In a chapter titled “Bonding,” even sex comes in for some grammatical attention. Even fear of death receives its own, almost lyrical chapter near book’s end.
No reader should be intimidated by Weinstein’s university credentials. As important a book as his is, it’s conversational throughout—and it’s packed with numerous compelling, clear examples. You will never think of commas or possessive pronouns in the same way again.
[PLEASE NOTE: Grammar for a Full Life is not a book intended for the person new to the English language. It assumes familiarity with many of the basics of English.]