Tag Archives: term of art

Term of Art: Experiential Learning

“experiential learning: Learning based on experiences, rather than lectures or reading. Experiential learning, also referred to as hands-on learning, can be especially helpful to students with a learning disability since it allows them to learn without being hindered by difficulties in reading or writing. An experiential approach to education and learning is based on the belief that students are more motivated and will remember concepts better when they have a direct physical experience.

Experiential learning also may have a strong basis in the nature of memory, especially for individuals with learning disabilities or attention deficit disorders. For many students, learning techniques that incorporate sight and touch are much easier for them to remember and retrieve. Evidence suggests that many individuals with learning disabilities or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder have a hard time remembering concepts, rules, and verbal information (semantic memory), while finding it much easier to remember events, people, places, and experience (episodic memory).

To some degree, experiential learning activities may provide a means of bridging those two basic forms of memory, and for enabling individuals to use strengths in one area to compensate in one area for weaknesses in another.”

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

Book of Answers: The Size of a Book

“What is the difference between a folio and a quarto? An octavo and a duodecimo? All of these terms refer to book sizes. In the first centuries of printing, book pages were of a standard size—13½  inches by 17 inches. These ‘foolscap’ sheets, when folded one or more times, produced a ‘signature,’ a section that was bound with other signatures to produce the book. A folio was a signature of two leaves, a quarto four leaves, an octavo eight leaves, and a duodecimo twelve leaves.”

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

Term of Art: Rhetorical Question

“Rhetorical Question: A question that expects no answer. The answer may be self-evident (If she doesn’t like me why should I care what she thinks?) or immediately provided by the questioner (What should be done? Well, first we should…). The question is often asked for dramatic effect. Rhetorical questions are sometimes announced with such a phrase as I ask you (when nothing is in fact being asked): ‘Garn! I ask you, what kind of a word is that? / It’s Ow and Garn that keep her in her place / Not her wretched clothes and dirty face’ (Alan Jay Lerner, My Fair Lady, 1956).”

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

Cultural Literacy: Act of God

Here’s a Cultural Literacy worksheet on the “act of god” as a legal concept. Since there is a pretty good chance that your students will purchase insurance some time in their lives, this is a term–and concept–they definitely should know.

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.

Term of Art: Rationalization

“Rationalization: The act of justifying discreditable actions after the event, or a justification or excuse put forward in this way. In psychoanalysis, a defense mechanism in which a false but reassuring or self-serving explanation that in reality arises from a repressed wish. The term was first used in the narrower psychoanalytic sense in 1908 by the Welsh psychoanalyst Ernest Jones (1879-1958) in an article in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology entitled ‘Rationalization in Everyday Life.’”

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

Historical Term: By-Election

by-election: Election of a member to a representative body to fill a vacancy caused by the death or resignation of a former member during a normal term of office.”

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

Term of Art: Apercu

Apercu (AA PER SUE): The term would be used by an analyst in a structure such as ‘The writer here presents, as apercu, that women, on the average, are shorter than men.’ That is to say, the comment is that the writer does not present her statement merely as an observation, but instead as if it were an insight, as if it were a particularly astute perception. ‘And then it came to me, women are shorter than men.” This example is deliberately unsubtle because what I mean to stress is that to describe a presentation as apercu is to talk about the manner of presentation rather than to make a comment on the actual ‘insightfulness’ of the comment itself. Like objectivity, apercu describes a rhetorical pose rather than confers a positive evaluation. See also EPIPHANY.

A second meaning of apercu is as a name for a summary, outline, or synopsis.

Excerpted from: Trail, George Y. Rhetorical Terms and Concepts: A Contemporary Glossary. New York: Harcourt Brace, 2000.