Category Archives: Quotes

As every second post on this site is a quote. You’ll find a deep and broad variety of quotes under this category, which overlap with several other tags and categories. Many of the quotes are larded with links for deeper reading on the subject of the quote, or connections between the subject of the quotes and other people, things, or ideas. See the Taxonomies page for more about this category.

Oscar Wilde on Hypocrisy

“I hope you have not been leading a double life, pretending to be wicked and being really good all the time. That would be hypocrisy.”

Oscar Wilde

Excerpted from: Winokur, Jon, ed. The Big Curmudgeon. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2007.

Write It Right: Defalcation for Default

“Defalcation for Default. A defalcation is a cutting off, a subtraction. A default is a failure in duty.”

Excerpted from: Bierce, Ambrose. Write it Right: A Little Blacklist of Literary Faults. Mineola, NY: Dover, 2010.

A Pair of Learning Supports on Using Slashes and Backslashes

Recently, I edited a the fourth iteration of a privately published book that I have worked with on and off for about twenty-five years. In this most recent edition, I thought the author relied too heavily on slashes where he should have been using coordinating conjunctions. So, I prepared these two learning supports on using slashes and backslashes. These texts are drawn from June Casagrande’s The Best Punctuation Book, Period, (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2014) and, from Susan Thurman’s book The Only Grammar Book You’ll Ever Need (Avon, MA: Adams Media, 2003).

Incidentally, the slash is also known as a virgule and solidus. But for our vernacular? Slash (in spite of its complicated polysemy) and backslash are the right words to describe these punctuation marks.

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.

Seth’s 73 Accomplices

“Although we do not know their names, the god Seth enlisted seventy-three accomplices when he tricked his brother-god Osiris. He enticed Osiris into coming to a feast, then, as an after-dinner game, the seventy-three joyfully took their turn in trying to fit into a cedar box. They all failed, for it had been manufactured to fit exactly the frame of Osiris, who—once he had entered—was held fast in a vice that allowed his brother to slam down the lid, seal the box and throw him into the Nile. There, he sailed out into the wide sea and was eventually washed ashore on the coast of Lebanon at Beirut.”

Excerpted from: Rogerson, Barnaby. Rogerson’s Book of Numbers: The Culture of Numbers–from 1,001 Nights to the Seven Wonders of the World. New York: Picador, 2013.

Term of Art: Source Memory

“source memory: The memory of where a person obtained information. For example, a child might know that Harrisburg is the capital of Pennsylvania, but not recall where he or she obtained that information. Many students with learning disabilities have deficient source memory.”

Excerpted from: Turkington, Carol, and Joseph R. Harris, PhD. The Encyclopedia of Learning Disabilities. New York: Facts on File, 2006.

John Dewey on Grading

Our mechanical, industrial civilization is concerned with averages, with percents…. We welcome a procedure which under the title of science sinks the individual in a numerical class; judges him with reference to capacity to fit into a limited number of vocations ranked according to present business standards; assigns him to a predestined niche and thereby does whatever education can do to perpetuate the present order.”

John Dewey

Excerpted from: Feldman, Joe. Grading for Equity: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How It Can Transform Schools and Classrooms. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin, 2019.


“Menhir: Huge block of natural or crudely worked stone; megalith. See monolith, dolmen.”

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


“Asia: (1) In classic mythology, one of the Oceanides, usually spoken of as wife of Iapetus and mother of Prometheus. In his ‘Prometheus Unbound,’ Shelley makes Asia play an important part as Prometheus’ wife.

(2) According to the Koran, the wife of the Pharaoh who brought up Moses. Asia’s husband tortured her for believing in Moses, but she was taken alive into Paradise. Muhammad numbers her among the four perfect women.”

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

Ho Chi Minh with Some Familiar Words

“All men are created equal; they are endowed with by their creator with certain inalienable rights; among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This immortal statement was made in the Declaration of Independence of the United States of America in 1776. In a broader sense, this means: All the peoples on earth are equal from birth, all the peoples have a right to live, to be happy and free.”

Ho Chi Minh, Proclamation of Independence, 2 Sept. 1945

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

Massacre of Amritsar

“Massacre of Amritsar: (1919) Incident in which British troops fired on a crowd of Indian protesters. In 1919 the British government of India enacted the Rowlatt act, extending its World War I emergency powers to combat subversive activities. On April 13th a large crowd gathered to protest the measures and troops opened fire, killing about 379 and wounding about 1,200. The massacre was the prelude to Mahatma Gandhi’s noncooperation movement of 1920-1922.”

Excerpted from: Stevens, Mark A., Ed. Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Encyclopedia. Springfield, Massachusetts: Merriam-Webster, 2000.