Gratitude and Grammar

The Free Cozy Grammar Newsletter with Marie Rackham and Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma

What could be more surprising and helpful than talking about grammar and gratitude?

We tend to think of grammar as a fairly dry and lifeless subject, but as Marie Rackham believed, properly taught, grammar can be an extraordinary and powerful tool for increasing awareness, unleashing creativity, and fostering true success.

Let me show you what I mean. In our first free excerpt this month, from The Basic Cozy Grammar Course, Marie gives a short but useful lesson on making comparisons with 2-syllable adjectives such as pretty. Take a peek, and then I'll tell you what in the world this has to do with gratitude.

By the way, if you missed our previous free excerpts on making comparisons with adjectives, feel free to watch them in our newsletter on The Three Degrees of Comparison.

Comparisons in Action . . . and in the Snow!

The comparative form of adjectives may seem to have very little to do with gratitude, but consider this: The more aware we are of beauty in the world, the more gratitude we discover in our hearts.

Each time we notice how pretty the flowers are—and how the prettiest things are often the simplest and most natural—we're growing, literally, our own capacity for appreciation.

I felt this particularly strongly when we were recently inundated by a winter blizzard. It gave me the perfect opportunity to add a special bonus lesson to the Study Notes to The Basic Cozy Grammar Course.

Take a peek at a free excerpt of this new video, then I'll share a creative writing activity that you and your family can try to see for yourselves how all of this relates to gratitude.

By the way, I'll be talking about phrasal comparisons next month, so be sure to stay tuned!

Life Temporarily Turned Upside Down

Here's the creative writing activity.

Think of a situation that might temporarily turn your everyday life upside down. It might be a blizzard, like the one we experienced in the video, or something festive and out of the ordinary like a birthday celebration, a holiday, or a wedding.

Then write five rhetorical questions like the ones in the bonus video. For example:

What could be cozier than staying in on a snowy day?

What could be more exciting than seeing the usual world around us transformed by a winter blizzard?

What could be more delicious than a hot meal shared together?

What could be warmer than our own home, coming in from the cold?

What could be more wonderful than gratitude for the gifts all around us everyday?

Now notice how your five sentences could form their own kind of poem. You might even play around with the order of the sentences and the way you write them on the page.

Here's what I ended up doing. I even gave the poem its own title:

What Could Be More Wonderful?

What Could Be More Wonderful?

What could be cozier
than staying in on a snowy day?
And yet what could be more exciting
than seeing the usual world around us
transformed by a winter blizzard?
What could be warmer
than our own home
coming in from the cold?
What could be more delicious
than a hot meal shared together?

What could be more wonderful
than gratitude for the gifts
all around us everyday?

The Real Joy is Gratitude

What I think you'll discover in doing this activity is that it will help you feel even more grateful for all the good things around you in your life.

Who knew that a lesson on the comparison of adjectives could also be a lesson in thanksgiving?

Well, to give that question an answer, Marie Rackham. She knew it, through and through. She understood that by bringing grammar, everyday life, and joy together students learn far more than just the workings of language. They also learn something about the workings of life. That's why I'm so grateful to be part of Cozy Grammar.

As the poet Sam Hamill once said, "the real joy is gratitude." Working with Marie's courses is a genuine and deep joy.

Thanks for joining us this month. And remember, if you happen to write something that you or your family would like to share, feel free to contact us and send it our way. We'd love to include it in an upcoming newsletter.

See you next month!

Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma



Marie's Language Consultant
The Cozy Grammar Series of Courses