Home > Quote of the Week > Archive List > Detail

<< Prev 11/21/2010 Next >>

Language and mathematics are the mother tongues of our rational selves—that is, of the human race—and no student should be permitted to be speechless in either tongue, whatever value he sets upon his special gifts, and however sure he may be at sixteen or eighteen that he knows the uses to which his mind will eventually be put. This would be like amputating his left hand because he did not seem to be ambidextrous. The languages of art and science are of twin importance. It is crippling to be illiterate in either, and the natural curriculum does not choose between them. They are two ways in which the student will have to express himself; they are two ways in which the truth gets known.

Mark Van Doren
American poet/critic, 1894 - 1973