Sometimes a dumb thing is a thing worth saying. –Alan Dupont
Okay, this may be a dumb thing to say, but what the heck…how is it, one can go through life learning different words and its meaning, hear these words being applied orally or written, yet, one morning you wake up and realize there is a word that looks familiar but to define it accurately would take looking it up in the dictionary or for some of us, looking it up on the internet.
The mystery word I woke up to this morning was aphorism. I know you are as shocked as I am over this, *gasp,* awful, dumb discovery.
I admit not paying much attention to the word, aphorism, and yet I use them quite frequently when writing. Plus, you now know, how I spent most of my early educational years paying more attention to the distractions in the classroom, you know, back when childish notes got scribbled on scraps of folded paper and passed over to targeted classmates. Today, the distractions are the same but the kids have it easy and landfills are getting less scrap paper to deal with as text messages are as common as asking for the hall pass to go use the restroom.
Nevertheless, by missing the vocabulary lesson on the word, aphorism, it can only mean one thing: A quick, Do-It-Yourself, fix this problem, teaching moment.
Today’s speedy lesson on the vocabulary word:
Speedy Fact #1: Definition and trivia
- Aph-o-rism: noun–a concise statement of a principle
also used as (aphoristic–adjective) or (aphoristically–adverb)
~Word first used around 1528
Speedy Fact #2: Historical Aphorists (and what they said…)
- Ben Franklin–The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is a knowledge of our own ignorance.
- Plato–The learning and knowledge that we have, is, at the most, but little compared with that of which we are ignorant.
- Socrates–To know, is to know that you know nothing. That is the meaning of true knowledge.
Speedy Fact #3: Finding more on aphorisms
- Erasmus of Rotterdam —Adagia
- Stanislaw Jerzy Lee–Uncombed Thoughts
- Mikhail Turovsky–Itch of Wisdom
- James Geary–Guide to the World’s Great Aphorists
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb—The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and practical Aphorisms
Speedy Fact #4: Pause for Feedback
Now, it is time to pause this teaching moment and see what is brewing on your mind on aphorism…
Quick, before my dummy tries to leave the classroom, what aphorism or aphorist you think can teach this dummy in me?
- Susan Sontag on Aphorisms and the Commodification of Wisdom (brainpickings.org)
- Aphorisms and Quotes Inspire Me (thistimethisspace.com)
- Metaphorically Speaking (gavinkirk.wordpress.com)
- What do we know about Nietzsche? (hadeelnaeem.wordpress.com)