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Sayings and Words of Wisdom in English Print E-mail
Written by David Holmes (Anagarika Tevijjo)   


This is the kind of book you can open anywhere and, hopefully, after browsing a bit, over a page or two, find an idea of interest to you. You shouldn't read it cover-to-cover, through and through, because the overall-jumble-of-ideas would only confuse you.

Students should focus on a single idea, one-idea-at-a-time, and interpret it, step-by-step according to the following process

Scan through once to get the general idea
Look-up any unfamiliar vocabulary
Consider the relation of the parts to the whole
Interpret the meaning so is clear in your mind
Prepare to explain it in your own word

If you are working in a group or a class, you can also go on to:

Discuss the saying within a peer-group
Exchange ideas and interpretations
Until a general agreement is reached.

If you are working in a class, you can also speak about the intended meaning with the help of a teacher in a general discussion.

There is nothing new in such a process. It is not only the way that poetry is taught but also the way, for example, we explicate, texts in foreign languages, both ancient and modern.

This book is intended to appeal to both native speakers of English and students of English as a foreign language alike

The text is not a list of English sayings originating in the English language, but rather a compendium of sayings and words of wisdom, in English, from a wide spectrum of linguistic traditions and cultures.

The sayings do not fit together into a consistent and unified-whole. Indeed, they often contradict one another. This is to be expected, especially when we consider that a petty consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and that the opposite of every truth is also true. It is remarkable, however, to see on how many points great minds think alike irrespective of periods of time or places of origin.

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