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.


Hausa: Chadic language, native to northern Nigeria (roughly from Kaduna northwards and some 200 km east of Kano westwards) and neighboring parts of Niger. Also widespread as a second language, there and elsewhere, and as a lingua franca across West Africa. Written in Arabic script before the 20th century, now largely in Roman.

Excerpted from: Marshall, P.H., ed. The Oxford Concise Dictionary of Linguistics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

Write it Right: Anxious for Eager

“Anxious for Eager. ‘I was anxious to go.’ Anxious should not be followed by an infinitive. Anxiety is contemplative; eagerness, alert for action.”

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

Arthur Bestor on Democracy and Education

“It is incompatible with democracy to train the many and educate the few.”

Arthur Bestor As Quoted in The Great School Debate: Which Way for American Education (1985)

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

Art Brut

“Art Brut: A term coined by French artist Jean Dubuffet to characterize spontaneous and rough artistic expression of children, prisoners, and the insane. Dubuffet’s collection of art brut inspired him to reclaim untrained and marginal artistic elements in his own work. See naïve art and ‘outsider’ art.”

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


“Belles-Lettres (noun): Fine or imaginative , usually sophisticated, writing that, however limited in general appeal, is an aesthetic end in itself, including poetry, drama, light essays, and literary criticism. Adj. belletristic; n. belletrism, belleslettrism, belles-lettrism, belletrist, belle-lettrists.

‘The fear, as in literary criticism, is that one will lapse, or will be accused of lapsing, back into the old belles-lettristic mode, than which it is rightly felt that nothing could be more deadly—though other things can be as bad.’ Michael Tanner, in The State of Language.”

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

Term of Art: Theology

“theology: The systematic study of religious beliefs and systems of thinking about God (or gods), often from within a given tradition, such as Judaism or Catholicism. Theology is not far removed from philosophy and the sociology of religion when considerations of meaning and empirical manifestations of religion are primary.”

Excerpted from: Matthews, Gordon, ed. Oxford Dictionary of Sociology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Book of Answers: Merlin the Sorcerer

“Where in literature did Merlin the sorcerer first appear? In Geoffrey of Monmouth’s The History of the Kings of Britain [Historia Regum Britanniae] (1137). This Latin prose work by the English chronicler also helped build the legend of Merlin’s protégé King Arthur.”

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