Lewis Thomas

"The universal language of the future, in the view of the tiny minority who now use it for their lives, will be mathematics. It could be so. Certainly, no other human endeavor can present so powerful an argument for a long survival in the centuries ahead, nor so solid a case for having already influenced and changed, largely for the better, the human condition. Among the sciences, mathematics has advanced more rapidly and at the same time penetrated the human mind more profoundly than any other field. I would include, most conspicuously, physics, for all the showiness of its accomplishments, and even cosmophysics; these disciplines would still be studying Galileo were it not for events that have happened in just the last three centuries in pure mathematics."

__ Lewis Thomas, Et Cetera, Et Cetera, p.161.

Wallace Stegner

"By the test of dialect, which is a reasonable and fair test as far as it goes, there is veritably a West, and it extends from the Alleghenies to the Pacific, from Ohio and Missouri to the Canadian line, with only unimportant islands to interrupt its triumphant oneness. By comparison the dialects of the eastern seaboard are confined and provincial, and even the several variations on southern speech, widespread as they are, reveal themselves as a regional aberration. The speech of the various Wests is the authentic speech of America, purified of the r which soundeth not and the r which belongeth not and the squat a and the other blemishes."

__ Wallace Stegner, in "Why I Love the West", Tomorrow magazine, 1950.

Bernard DeVoto

"I have tried to maintain a decent uniformity in the spelling of names, especially place names and surnames. There is something of a guerrilla warfare among western historians and antiquarians over spellings and I expect the usual denunciations from owners in fee simple of ingenious systems or of inspirations denied me. Since many of those who took part in the mountain fur trade were illiterate and practically all those who could write were spellers of uncommon versatility and enthusiasm, these disputes seem to me pointless. Few trappers were certain how to spell their own names or those of their companions or those of the landmarks they guided by ; fewer still cared."

__ Bernard DeVoto, in the preface to "Across the Wide Missouri", p. xv.