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This note appeared in the "Editor's File"
in The Textbook Letter, May-June 1996.

Unilingual Education

William J. Bennetta

Here's an item from Addison-Wesley's middle-school book Science Insights: Exploring Matter and Energy, dated in 1996. The item appears on page 289, in a "Historical Notebook" sidebar:

More than 2,000 years ago, people in Asia discovered that certain black metallic rocks attracted iron. The Greeks and Arabs called these rocks lodestones, meaning "leading stones."

Of course, those were the good old days, when the Greeks and Arabs all spoke English.


William J. Bennetta is a professional editor, a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, the president of The Textbook League, and the editor of The Textbook Letter. He writes often about the propagation of quackery, false "science" and false "history" in schoolbooks.

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