Category Archives: Quotes

Quotes, from a variety of sources, related to teaching and learning–somewhat more loosely defined than in other categories on Mark’s Text Terminal.


“Predicate: The verb and its related words in a clause or sentence. The predicate expresses what the subject does, experiences, or is. Birds fly. The partygoers celebrated wildly for a long time.”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.

Henry Adams on Politics

“Politics as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.”

Henry Adams

Excerpted from: Schapiro, Fred, ed. The Yale Book of Quotations. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2006.

Term of Art: Antonomasia

“Antonomasia: [Stress: ‘an-to-no-May-zy-a’]. 1. In rhetoric, the use of an epithet to acknowledge a quality in one person or place by using the name of another person or place already known for that quality: Henry is the local Casanova; Cambridge is England’s Silicon Valley. 2. The use of an epithet instead of the name of a person or thing: the Swan of Avon William Shakespeare.”

Excerpted from: McArthur, Tom. The Oxford Concise Companion to the English Language. New York: Oxford University Press, 2005.

Historical Term: Billeting

[Given the post immediately below this on, it’s worth mentioning that the Third Amendment to the United States Constitution–i.e. the third of the first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, guaranteed this freedom: “No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”]

“Billeting The custom of requiring householders to provide accommodation for members of the armed forces. The system was widely abused in the 17th century under Charles I and protests against it were included in the Petition of Right (1628). Despite the forbidding of forced billeting in 1679, it continued under Charles II and James II, ending only when parliament agreed to the building of permanent barracks in 1792.”

Excerpted from: Cook, Chris. Dictionary of Historical Terms. New York: Gramercy, 1998.

Book of Answers: Emile Zola and the Dreyfus Affair

“Of what crime was Emile Zola convicted? In 1898-99, he was convicted of libel in France for his letter “J’Accuse.” The open letter to the French president defended Captain Alfred Dreyfus, a Jewish officer accused of treason. After the conviction, Zola fled to exile in England for a year, before returning to France as a hero.”

Excerpted from: Corey, Melinda, and George Ochoa. Literature: The New York Public Library Book of Answers. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1993.


“Possessive: The case of nouns and pronouns that indicates ownership or possession (Harold’s, ours, mine).”

Excerpted from: Strunk, William Jr., and E.B. White. The Elements of Style, Fourth Edition. New York: Longman, 2000.


“Zapotec: The main territory of the Zapotecs was the valley of Oaxaca (Mexico) with its great center at Monte Alban. It is still uncertain when these people first came to Oaxaca, but by c. AD 300 a distinctively Zapotec culture can be recognized. In c. 1400 the area was infiltrated by Mixtecs who came from the mountains from the north and west and occupied most of the Zapotec sites. Part of the region was never conquered by the Aztecs, and the Zapotecan language has persisted to the present day.”

Excerpted from: Bray, Warwick, and David Trump. The Penguin Dictionary of Archaeology. New York: Penguin, 1984.

The Weekly Text, September 25, 2020: Hispanic Heritage Month 2020 Week II–A Reading and Comprehension Worksheet on American Imperialism

This week’s Text–and it may seem odd as an offering for National Hispanic Heritage Month–is this reading on American Imperialism and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet. The United States has violated the sovereignty of Latin American nations repeatedly since the early-nineteenth century. This meddling in the affairs of Latin America arguably began with the theology of Manifest Destiny and the foreign policy of the Monroe Doctrine.

Even the easygoing researcher will locate dozens of examples of United States involvement in Latin America. Three are most salient for the purposes of this blog post, mostly for their egregiousness: the 1954 coup in Guatemala that overthrew the democratically elected Jacobo Arbenz; ten years later, the 1964 Brazilian coup that toppled the leftist government of Joao Goulart; and, in my own historical memory, the 1973 coup against the democratically elected President of Chile, Salvador Allende. The latter, incidentally, has been extensively documented, with Henry Kissinger’s role in the Chilean coup examined by, among others, the late Christopher Hitchens and, most comprehensively, by the National Security Archive.

Finally, I’ve always found it useful to turn to one of American history’s most famous quotes, from General Smedley D. Butler, on American imperialism:

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism. I helped make Mexico and especially Tampico safe for American oil interests in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefit of Wall Street. I helped purify Nicaragua for the International Banking House of Brown Brothers in 1902-1912. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for the American sugar interests in 1916. I helped make Honduras right for the American fruit companies in 1903. In China in 1927 I helped see to it that Standard Oil went on its way unmolested. Looking back on it, I might have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”

(Smedley D. Butler, War is a Racket: The Antiwar Classic by America’s Most Decorated Soldier (Port Townshend, Washington: Feral House, 2003.)

Enough said.

If you find typos in these documents, 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.

Term of Art: Multiple Intelligences

“Multiple intelligences: An interpretation of intelligence put forward by the US psychologist Howard (Earl) Gardner (born 1943) in his book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences (1983-1993), taking account of abilities of gifted people and virtuosos or experts in various domains, abilities valued in different cultures, and abilities of individuals who have suffered brain damage. In addition to the linguistic, logical-mathematical, and spatial abilities incorporated in conventional interpretations of intelligence, Gardner’s taxonomy includes musical intelligence (used in musical appreciation, composition, and performance), bodily-kinesthetic intelligence (used in sport, dancing, and everyday activities requiring dexterity), interpersonal intelligence (used in relating to others, interpreting social signals, and predicting social outcomes), intrapersonal intelligence (used in understanding and predicting one’s own behavior). In 1997 Gardner added naturalist intelligence (used in discriminating among plants, animals, and other features of the natural world, and in classifying objects in general) as an eighth intelligence and spiritual intelligence and existential intelligence as ‘candidate’ intelligences. Critics have argued that some of these abilities are better interpreted as special talents than as aspects of intelligence.”

Excerpted from: Colman, Andrew M., ed. Oxford Dictionary of Psychology. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Silk Screen

“Silk Screen: A stencil process of color reproduction, often used commercially to reproduce posters, etc. The design is divided according to color areas. For each color, a stencil is prepared on silk stretched over a frame. Paint is the squeezed through the respective screens. Andy Warhol used this technique extensively. Also called serigraphy.”

Excerpted from: Diamond, David G. The Bulfinch Pocket Dictionary of Art Terms. Boston: Little Brown, 1992.