Virginia Postrel posts a bit of Scottish etymology:
In his poem “The Lay of the Last Minstrel,” Sir Walter Scott introduced the word glamour into English from Scots, where it meant a literal magic spell that kept the subject from seeing things as they really are:
And one short spell therein he read:
It had much of glamour might;
Could make a ladye seem a knight;
The cobwebs on a dungeon wall
Seem tapestry in lordly hall;
A nut-shell seem a gilded barge,
A sheeling [a shepherd’s hut] seem a palace large,
And youth seem age, and age seem youth:
All was delusion, nought was truth.
The last bit certainly applies to much of modern syntax, if not grammar more generally.