Glossary

  Cultural Conservation:   a philosophy, a mindset, a movement, a set of ideas,  and an organization dedicated to the principle that we need to devote the same energy and enthusiasm to conserving our cultural resources that we invest in our natural resources.

Celebrity Culture:  Our current popular culture in which celebrity is valued for its own sake. Fame is considered meritorious regardless of how the celebrity becomes famous. In a celebrity culture, massive media publicity directs public attention to those who are merely famous, not accomplished.

Classical Music : A term popularly used to describe all concert music, including symphonic, operatic, and chamber music.  Music historians would limit the term to music composed during the “Classical Period,” including the works of Haydn, Mozart, and early Beethoven, but this distinction only appeals to musicologists.

Cursive Writing:  (Also known as script.) Writing in which the letters and symbols are joined together in a smooth, flowing handwriting. The opposite of printing, in which the letters are separated.  Signatures are an example of cursive writing. Today there are individuals and organizations suggesting that students who use computers no longer need to learn cursive writing, resulting potentially in college graduates and even professors who cannot write their own names.

Delight of Language: The key to knowledge, experience, and self-expression available through mastering grammar, reading, writing, spelling, and speech.

Doublespeak: As defined by William Lutz, an English professor and author, language which pretends to  communicate, but really doesn’t. Lutz includes euphemisms, jargon, gobbledygook, and inflated language as characteristics of Doublespeak.

Gobbledygook:  Written or spoken English filled with big words enabling the speaker or writer to say something impressive or intimidating without making the slightest bit of sense.

Great American Song Book:  The collected creative work of a brilliant group of composers and lyricists writing for musical theater, motion pictures, and the recording industry in a golden age generally beginning in the 1920s and ending in the 1960s. While music and lyrics have been written since that period that would qualify, subsequent years were dominated by the rock revolution and a complete decline in quality. Music in the great American Song Book is characterized by memorable, brilliantly constructed melodies and an extensive harmonic vocabulary. Lyrics are sophisticated and marked by clever rhymes and often meet a high poetic standard.  

Joy of Music:  The tremendous pleasure and emotional experience you can derive from exploring many genres of music, especially the classics, jazz, musical theater, and film scores.

Learning for a Lifetime:  Pursuing knowledge without end, often through self-education, and the recognition that the more you know, the more you realize you have to learn.

Negative Learning:  A means of measuring the declining cultural literacy of students who know less about a subject at the time of their graduation than they knew at the time of beginning a period of study in a specific college or university

Personal Plan of Action: Taking responsibility for an organized plan to enable you and your family to encounter the best of our culture, so that none of you miss the best of our past, present, future.

Phonics:  Study of the relationship between letters and sounds. For many years, this was the standard method of teaching reading.  But for decades the study of phonics has been displaced by another far less successful method, variously described as the “whole word,” “whole language,” or “look-say” method.  The study of phonics  requires the student to learn the sounds related to each letter of the alphabet and then correctly pronounce new words by determining the sounds of each syllable.

Pride of Achievement: The sense of accomplishment when you achieve recognition based on true merit.

Progress: Positive change. Progress is often mistakenly thought to be synonymous with change, but the truth is quite the opposite.  Change for its own sake is often progress in reverse, a process in which values, ideas, and accomplishments of the past are capriciously discarded to make everyone feel that we are evolving.

Representational Art:  Painting, sculpture, or any form of art that depicts recognizable subjects and represents them as they truly appear..         

Risk Takers of the Spirit:  A phrase used by author and self-education advocate Ronald Gross to describe those who go beyond self-discovery to explore what is beautiful and important in the world.

Self-Education: The study of subjects of your choice, developing your skills and expanding your knowledge without depending on formal instruction in schools.

Shredded English:  A term describing what lawyers do the English language when they write long-winded sentences filled with legalese that can be understood by no one else.

Vanishing History: Our heritage, the people and events that make us who we are as a people and our country what it is today. This heritage is unfortunately neglected and trivialized in much modern education.