The Field Play Quotes In Essay

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Here is a sample of what some leading scholars, writers, and other thinkers have written or said about play.

Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.

Stuart Brown, MD
Contemporary American psychiatrist

It is a happy talent to know how to play.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
American writer
1803–1882

Play is our brain's favorite way of learning.

Diane Ackerman
Contemporary American author

Culture arises and unfolds in and as play.

Johan Huizinga
Dutch historian
1872–1945

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.

Abraham Maslow
American psychologist
1908–1970

The true object of all human life is play.

G. K. Chesterton
British author
1874–1936

Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning.

Fred Rogers
American television personality
1928–2003

A child loves his play, not because it’s easy, but because it’s hard.

Benjamin Spock
American pediatrician
1903–1998

Play fosters belonging and encourages cooperation.

Stuart Brown, MD
Contemporary American psychiatrist

Play has been man’s most useful preoccupation.

Frank Caplan
Contemporary American author
1911–1988

To the art of working well a civilized race would add the art of playing well.

George Santayana
American philosopher
1863–1952

People tend to forget that play is serious.

David Hockney
Contemporary British painter

Children need the freedom and time to play. Play is not a luxury. Play is a necessity.

Kay Redfield Jamison
Contemporary American professor of psychiatry

Do not…keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play.

Plato
Greek philosopher
427–347 BC

Surely all God’s people…like to play.

John Muir
American naturalist
1838–1914

Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father.

Roger von Oech
Contemporary American creativity guru

Play keeps us fit physically and mentally.

Stuart Brown, MD
Contemporary American psychiatrist

The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct.

Carl Jung
Swiss psychoanalyst
1875–1961

In play a child always behaves beyond his average age, above his daily behavior. In play it is as though he were a head taller than himself.

Lev Vygotsky
Russian psychologist
1896–1934

Creative people are curious, flexible, persistent, and independent with a tremendous spirit of adventure and a love of play.

Henri Matisse
French painter
1869–1954

Play is training for the unexpected.

Marc Bekoff
Contemporary American biologist

Creative play is like a spring that bubbles up from deep within a child.

Joan Almon
Contemporary American educator

Children learn as they play. Most importantly, in play children learn how to learn.

O. Fred Donaldson
Contemporary American martial arts master

Human beings need pleasure the way they need vitamins.

Lionel Tiger
Contemporary Canadian anthropologist

Those who play rarely become brittle in the face of stress or lose the healing capacity for humor.

Stuart Brown, MD
Contemporary American psychiatrist

When children pretend, they’re using their imaginations to move beyond the bounds of reality. A stick can be a magic wand. A sock can be a puppet. A small child can be a superhero.

Fred Rogers
American children’s television host
1928–2003

The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable.

Carl Jung
Swiss psychoanalyst
1875–1961

Play is hard to maintain as you get older. You get less playful. You shouldn’t, of course.

Richard Feynman
American physicist
1918–1988

Children have always learned and created places for themselves through play.

Donna R. Barnes
Contemporary American psychologist

There is for many a poverty of play.

D.W. Winnicott
British pediatrician
1896–1971

Play allows us to develop alternatives to violence and despair; it helps us learn perseverance and gain optimism.

Stuart Brown MD
Contemporary American psychiatrist

The very existence of youth is due in part to the necessity for play; the animal does not play because he is young, he has a period of youth because he must play.

Karl Groos
German evolutionary biologist
1861–1946

If you want to be creative, stay in part a child, with the creativity and invention that characterizes children before they are deformed by adult society.

Jean Piaget
Swiss philosopher
1896–1980

A child who does not play is not a child, but the man who does not play has lost forever the child who lived in him.

Pablo Neruda
Chilean poet
1904–1973

I believe that those boys who take part in rough, hard play outside of school will not find any need for horse-play in school.

Theodore Roosevelt
American president
1858–1919

It is in playing, and only in playing, that the individual child or adult is able to be creative and to use the whole personality, and it is only in being creative that the individual discovers the self.

D.W. Winnicott
British pediatrician
1896–1971

Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin: law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primeval soil of play.

Johan Huizinga
Dutch historian
1872–1945

The playing adult steps sideward into another reality; the playing child advances forward to new stages of mastery.

Erik H. Erikson
American psychoanalyst
1902–1994

Ritual grew up in sacred play; poetry was born in play and nourished on play; music and dancing were pure play.... We have to conclude, therefore, that civilization is, in its earliest phases, played. It does not come from play...it arises in and as play, and never leaves it.

Johan Huizinga
Dutch historian
1872–1945

We all need empty hours in our lives or we will have no time to create or dream.

Robert Coles
Contemporary American child psychologist

The child amidst his baubles is learning the action of light, motion, gravity, muscular force…

Ralph Waldo Emerson
American writer
1803–1882

So, in all these spheres—in painting, sculpture, drawing, music, singing, dancing, gymnastics, games, sports, writing, and speech—we can carry on to our heart’s content, all through our long lives, complex and specialized forms of exploration and experiment.

Desmond Morris
Contemporary British zoologist

Play, while it cannot change the external realities of children’s lives, can be a vehicle for children to explore and enjoy their differences and similarities and to create, even for a brief time, a more just world where everyone is an equal and valued participant.

Patricia G. Ramsey
Contemporary American educational psychologist

As astronauts and space travelers children puzzle over the future; as dinosaurs and princesses they unearth the past. As weather reporters and restaurant workers they make sense of reality; as monsters and gremlins they make sense of the unreal.

Gretchen Owocki
Contemporary American early childhood educator

Let’s begin by looking at some of the less complicated rules involving quotation marks. First, they are used to enclose words and phrases to which special attention needs to be drawn. If a word is used out of context or in some other unusual way, such as to include a slang word in formal writing, or when it is being used sarcastically, it should appear in quotes:

“Of” is an ambiguous preposition, for it can mean “from” or “by.”
Yeah, it was a “happy” occasion, all right, if you like being humiliated in public!
He really is quite a “square” fellow.

In the first sentence we’ve used prepositions as nouns, which is allowable only if we put them in quotation marks. Sentence two involves sarcasm; that is, a meaning that is exactly opposite of what is said. You put “happy” in quotation marks because you want to be sure the reader catches the irony (in much the same way a speaker will make “air quotes” with his hands to make sure the audience understands the intended sarcasm). The final sentence uses quotes to insert a slang expression into a more formal context; omitting the quotes would make it seem that the writer was using informal language inappropriately.

A second use of quotation marks involves titles. Use them in the following instances:

  • short artistic works (poems, songs, television and radio programs)
  • titles of individual courses of study (but not areas)
  • short stories
  • articles in magazines
  • any literary piece that is not bound as a book

Here are some typical examples:

Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” is his best.
I enrolled in P.E. 17, “Social Dancing.”
Robinson’s sonnet “Richard Cory” is one of the best ever to come out of America.
His third chapter is strangely titled “The Sink in the Sky.”
Poe’s best story, I think, is “The Man of the Crowd.”

Quotes and Dialogue Now we come to a biggy, the handling of quotation and dialogue. Quotation marks are used to indicate direct quotations and dialogue. It would follow, then, that they are not used to punctuate indirect quotations (including the recounting of dialogue). If a direct quote or dialogue is introduced by a descriptive phrase (called an “attribution”), the attribution is separated from the quote or dialogue with a comma:

Lord Acton said, “. . . absolute power corrupts absolutely.” (direct quotation)
Lord Acton said that absolute power corrupts absolutely. (indirect quotation)

Elizabeth said, “I refuse to take another step.” (dialogue)
Elizabeth said she refused to take another step. (recounting of dialogue)

You can see that, whether you are dealing with factual quotes or fictional dialogue, the usage is quite similar. Whenever you are putting the speaker’s actual words on the page (whether real or made up), use quotation marks; when you are merely telling your reader what someone said (whether that someone is a real person or a fictional character), don’t use quotation marks.

Now here are three very important rules about punctuation with quotation marks that you should memorize (or at least write down and keep handy):

1. Periods and commas always occur inside quotation marks:

This set of intersecting lines is what we call a “grid.”
When you say someone is “square,” do you mean he is antisocial or merely old-fashioned?

2. Semicolons and colons always occur outside quotation marks:

Toynbee began his Study of History with “the annihilation of distance”; he ended it with “the annihilation of man.”
The teacher predicted that three things will shatter what he calls “the American dream”: the bigness, the buck and the bomb.

3. Question and exclamation marks may occur inside or outside quotation marks, depending on the meaning of the sentence:

He said, “Am I the guilty one?”
Did he say, “I am the guilty one”?
Did he say, “Am I the guilty one?”

In the first sentence, the quotation itself asks the question, so the question mark belongs inside the quotation marks. But in the next sentence, the question is being asked by the whole sentence and not the quotation, so the question mark belongs outside the quotation marks. Finally, sentence three has both the sentence and the quotation asking questions. In this case, the mark belongs inside, where everybody understands that it stands for both questions. You should never write:

Did he say, “Am I the guilty one?”?

Logical though it may be, the double question mark is unnecessary. Now look at a couple of examples using the exclamation mark, where the same logic applies:

He actually dared to say, “The world is flat”!
He said, “I’m the king of the world!”

In the first of these, the writer is astounded, not the one being quoted, so the exclamation mark belongs outside the quotation marks. In the second, of course, the exclamation is made by the one being quoted, so the exclamation point belongs inside the quotation marks. Still on the subject of punctuation with quotation marks, don’t use commas when other punctuation is called for:

Wrong: “Am I the guilty one?,” the weeping woman said.
Right: “Am I the guilty one?” the weeping woman said.

So far we’ve dealt with attribution that precedes the quote or dialogue. But it may also come at the end (as we’ve just seen) or in the middle, interrupting the quotation. Why? Well, from a stylistic viewpoint, it saves dialogue passages from becoming boring and stiff-sounding. If you put the attribution in the same location every time, your dialogue will acquire an unnatural “sameness.”

Varying the location of the attribution can also change the stress of the sentence. In a long quote or line of dialogue, using an interrupting attribution can remind the reader who is speaking, or serve to reinforce the main ideas of a quote by separating them and making each more distinct.

But what concerns us, of course, is the punctuation involved with attributions, wherever they may appear in the sentence. Examine the following in its three versions:

His manager said, “The trouble with John is his lack of education in the field.”
“The trouble with John is his lack of education in the field,” his manager said.
“The trouble with John,” his manager said, “is his lack of education in the field.”

Certainly, the two main ideas in this sentence are “the trouble with John” and “his lack of education in the field.” The third sentence is perhaps the most forceful because by breaking up the manager’s statement, equal weight is given to both parts. Notice the following things about these three sentences:

  • When the attribution comes first, it is followed by a comma. (“His manager said, “The…”)
  • When the attribution follows the quotation it begins without capitalization. (“. . . field,” his manager said.)
  • When the attribution follows the quotation, it is preceded by a comma. This comma replaces the period at the end of the quote or dialogue and–as we’ve already learned–always goes inside the ending quotation marks. (“. . . field,” his manager said.)
  • Quotations always begin with capital letters, no matter where they come in the sentence. (all three sentences)
  • When the attribution interrupts the quotation, the quotation continues without capitalization. (“. . . with John,” his manager said, “is his. . .”)

Now, let’s look at an example that appears to feature an interrupting explanatory statement between two consecutive sentences spoken by the same person:

“Turn on the ignition key,” the instructor said. “Now start the engine.”

But in this case the attribution doesn’t really interrupt the dialogue. Rather, it comes at the end of the first sentence of dialogue, and is punctuated accordingly. The second line of dialogue actually has no attribution at all. This presentation is quite common in long dialogue passages where it would be annoying to continually repeat the speaker’s name with each sentence of dialogue.

To prevent the reader from being confused about who is speaking, each change in speaker is indicated by a new paragraph. For example:

Finally, her mother went upstairs, and I leaned over and kissed Janet. “Have you ever been kissed before?” I said suspiciously.

“Never,” she quickly replied.

“Are you sure?”

“Absolutely.”

“Well, then, tell me this. How come you kiss so well?”

“I watched them do it in the movies.”

Here we have a conversation between two speakers with very little attribution. Yet it is quite easy for the reader to keep track of who is speaking because of the way the dialogue is separated into paragraphs for each speaker.

There is another option for direct citations of someone else’s writing or speech, generally used when the quoted material is four lines long or longer. This is the block quotation, which you’ve probably seen in text books. The exact form of a block quotation will be determined by the style of the printed piece–it may be single-spaced when the surrounding material is double-spaced; it may use a different, generally smaller, typeface than the surrounding material; it will most likely be inset from both the left and right margins–but generally it will look something like this:

What you should remember about block quotations is that they do not take quotation marks. Their shape is all the punctuation they need. And when you are finished with your long quotation, return to the spacing, margins and/or typeface of the main body of the piece.

If you need to quote several paragraphs, and do not want to use the block quote, you would put an opening quotation mark at the beginning of each paragraph but not at the end of any of the paragraphs except the one that concludes the quotation:

“But I did well in school and seemed to be peculiarly able to learn what the teacher said–I never mastered a subject, though–and there was the idiotic testimony of those peculiar witnesses, I.Q. tests: those scores invented me.

“Those scores were a decisive piece of destiny in that they affected the way people treated you and regarded you; they determined your authority; and if you spoke oddly, they argued in favor of your sanity. But it was as easy to say and there was much evidence that I was stupid, in every way or in some ways, or as my mother said in exasperation–in all the ways that count.”

The final rule involves quotations within quotations. For such internal quotations, use the apostrophe, sometimes called a single quote when used in this way:

“That’s fine by me,” Father cautioned, “but remember what Grandma used to say: ‘Early to bed, early to rise. . . .'”


These tips came from the course Turning Personal Stories into Memoir

The story of your own or your family’s history is likely to be the most personal, emotionally satisfying and potentially overwhelming writing project you’ll ever undertake. You’ve collected all the oral history, personal memories, journal entries, photographs, letters and countless other documents – now find out how to weave them together into a compelling story.  Work with a published author to write and revise chapters of your memoir (up to 12,000 words) and develop a working outline for the remainder of the entire book.

You will learn:

  • To identify the types of personal and family memoirs
  • To define the scope and theme of your book
  • How to decide what to put in – and what to leave out of your book
  • To develop a dateline and working outline for your book
  • How to stay on track and keep your book from “sagging” in the middle

Learn More About our Turning Personal Stories into Memoir Workshop Today!

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