Back when I was at that college with the otherwise intelligent professor with his lively disdain for Chinese civilization, the local town public library was having an adult literacy initiative. I had heard about it once or twice before, but it shocked me to see it in real life. It turns out that many in the US, you know, the wealthiest most powerful country in the world, cannot read at all, or cannot read well enough to complete simple daily tasks such as filling in forms or travelling using street signs. This is despite free, universal, compulsory schooling (it’s a bit of a stretch to call it “education”).
If ABC News is to be believed, then something on the order of 10% of the American population is no-can-reedy, i.e. more than one in ten adults in the United States are driving through life with their phasers set to “stunningly ignorant” What happened to the beautiful simplicity and obviousness of alphabets? What happened to that? Where’s the…where’s…I thought the memo said…(???)
The US is not alone. In other (poorer) countries, using an alphabet and even completely phonetic spelling, illiteracy is rampant. What the frekkin heck is going on?
Wednesday, 18 February 2009
Something on the order of 10% of the American population is no-can-reedy