Who remembers diagraming sentences? I really, really loved learning this stuff. It made so much sense to my weird mind—a strange mixture of engineering and fantasy. In this example the subject “I” is understood, the predicate is “see” the direct object is “beauty” modified by “the”, and the indirect object is “language” following the preposition, “of”.
So here is my big beef with the oft spoken Thanksgiving phrase, “I am thankful for …” : by reducing the strong verb “thank” with the weaker “am thankful” we eliminate the need for the powerful DIRECT OBJECT. The verb “thank” begs for an object. When you are thanking, you have to thank SOMEONE!
In our post-Christian America we seem to push the mention of God out of our everyday conversations and publications. We find it so comfortable to say, “I’m thankful for my family, by health, my job, my …” because this way of expressing gratitude eliminates the need for saying to whom we are thankful.
Check out this diagram:
Yeah, that’s Whom we are thanking: the one true God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost! GOD is the direct object!
So thanks to the Pilgrims on the shores of Massachusetts in 1621 for giving us the example of a congregational thanksgiving celebration, and President Lincoln who gave the day national recognition in 1861. And thank you for reading this grammatical look at our great American Holiday: Thank God.