Ad Ignorantiam

“To ignorance: depending for its effect on the hearer’s not knowing something essential; arguing that something is true because it has not been proven false, or challenging another to disprove rather than endeavoring to improve.”

Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.

Errant (adj)

Here is a context clues worksheet on the adjective errant. You may know it means: “a : straying outside the proper path or bounds <an ~ calf>  b : moving about aimlessly or irregularly <an ~ breeze>  c : behaving wrongly <an ~ child>  d : FALLIBLE,” (Merriam-Webster. Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition (Kindle Locations 143332-143334). Merriam-Webster, Inc.. Kindle Edition).

You can use it to say things like “As he is wont to do, at his professional development session the principal advanced an argument of errant nonsense.”

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Why I Teach High School

“A society that is concerned about the strength and wisdom of its culture pays careful attention to its adolescents.”

Theodore R. Sizer (1932-2009)

Excerpted from: Howe, Randy, ed. The Quotable Teacher. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2003.

Delphic Oracle

“An ancient oracle at Delphi, on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus. It was of extremely ancient origin, having originally belonged to a chthonic deity. Aeschylus’ claim in the Eumenides that it belonged successively to GeThemis and Phoebe—two of whom, at least, were earth goddesses—may not be far from wrong. In later times, the oracle was taken over by Apollo, who, according to the Homeric Hymn to Pythian Apollo, killed a python, a sacred snake associated with the oracle. The oracular utterances were made by the Pythia, a priestess who sat on a tripod over a cleft in the rock. Her incomprehensible mouthings were interpreted by a priest.

Although there were many oracles in the Greek world, the Delphic oracle was regarded as the final authority in religious matters. A great many of the most famous Greek myths involve the working out of the oracles that issued from Delphi. Associated with the shrine was the omphalos, a sacred stone that was regarded as the navel of the world, though various other centers made the same claim. Some authorities believe that the omphalos was the phallic cap of a tomb, possibly that of the python, since many oracles were associated with the tombs of heroes. In the first part of the Eumenides Orestes clings to the omphalos in seeking sanctuary from the Erinyes, or furies.”

Excerpted from: Murphy, Bruce, ed. Benet’s Reader’s Encyclopedia, Fourth Edition. New York: Harper Collins, 1996.

Word Root Exercise: Pale/o

Here’s a worksheet on the Greek word root pale/o; it means ancient.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

Calling All Philosophes! You Are Needed for a Code Blue in Washington, DC!

“We use ideas merely to justify our evil, and speech merely to control our ideas.”

Voltaire

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Portable Curmudgeon. New York: Plume, 1992.

Entrepot (n)

Although it doesn’t appear often in texts in secondary school texts (I did encounter it frequently in text while working on my undergraduate degree), entrepot might pop up once or twice. While I realize that might be a relatively thin rationale for the existence of this context clues worksheet on the noun entrepot, I offer it to you nonetheless.

If you find typos in this document, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.