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 KISS Grammar
Lewis Thomas - Selection # 1b
From "Alchemy" in Late Night Thoughts on Listening to Mahler's Ninth Symphony,
Toronto: Bantam Books, 1983, p. 32.
Analysis Key

The notion {of alchemy} may be as old (PA) {as language}, | and the idea [Adj. to

"idea" that language and magic are somehow related [#1] ] is also old (PA). |

"Grammar," {after all} [#2], was a word (PN) used [#3] {in the Middle Ages} to 

denote high learning [#4], | but it also implied a practicing familiarity (DO) {with

alchemy}. | Gramarye, an older term [#5] {for grammar}, signified occult learning

(DO) and necromancy (DO). | "Glamour," {of all words}, was the Scottish word

(PN) {for grammar}, | and it meant, precisely, a spell (PN) [#6], casting 

enchantment [#7]. |

1. "Are related" can be explained as a passive verb, but some people will prefer to see "related" as functioning as a predicate adjective here.
2. Although "after all" would probably be consider adverbial by most grammar books, note that is has much of the function of an interjection here. The same is true later with "of all words."
3. Gerundive to "word."
4. "Learning" is the direct object of the infinitive "to denote." The infinitive phrase functions as an adverb (of purpose) to "used." [There may be some debate about whether "learning" is a gerund or a regular noun, but most grammarians would probably consider it to be a regular noun because it is modified by the adjective "high."]
5. Appositive to "gramarye."
6. See Note # 4 for Part A.
7. "Enchantment" is the direct object of "casting." The comma before "casting" allows it to be explained in two ways. For one, it can be considered a gerundive that modifies "spell." Alternatively, or perhaps simultaneously, it can be explained as a gerund that functions as an appositive to "spell." (A spell is the same as "casting enchantment.")