Year of questions: Is the proliferation of poor reading and writing skills really that bad?

I’ve wondered about this one for a while.

I grew up reading massive amounts of books, from classical literature, to modern fiction, crime novels, history books, biographies, heck even a few romance novels for good measure. Because of this I have a pretty good eye for not only grammar, but also when someone is conveying more subtle points.

But this doesn’t seem to be the case with a lot of people I know. At work anyone my age or younger guaranteed writes what older people would consider “half-English” and even some of the older folks have gone that direction too.

I’m no stranger to texting and shortcuts, but part of the problem I’ve noticed isn’t that people are saying more with less, it’s that they aren’t saying anything at all… or that they have something in mind but can’t really say it.

On the other side of the coin, fewer and fewer people my age and younger seem to be able to properly read and understand what’s being conveyed.  Especially when it’s not as simple as, press this button, do this thing, etc… Meaning that when they are asked to do something like “consider the implications of geography in the political juggling between Afghanistan and Pakistan” they pretty much have no idea how to respond.




One thought on “Year of questions: Is the proliferation of poor reading and writing skills really that bad?”

  1. I would agree that poor reading and writing skills seem to be the norm now with most people under the age of 35 in the United States. It stems from a population and education system that has become casual and lazy about almost everything. Being literate in a society of illiterates and barely illiterates, will always be an advantage in getting a better job. In some ways, the lack of literacy parallels the 19th century when many people couldn’t read or write. The main difference from those times however, is that today, many people don’t respect or think literacy is important any more. In the 19th century, educated people were respected and elevated to important positions. Today, many people actually think that technology will take the place of literacy. What they don’t realize is that the written word isn’t going anywhere, it is still with us and is more complicated than ever before. If a person can’t process complex information, they are condemned to be doing low end jobs or no jobs because they don’t have the necessary skills to participate in our complex world. Literacy is probably the most important skill you will acquire in your life.

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