Literacy. That is a damn important word, and it means a heck of a lot more than the average person thinks it does. It isn’t just the ability to read and write, although that is a big part of it. But it also means to “understand”, and be competent. It is true, reading and writing isn’t 100% necessary in society today, but a person who can’t do either is severely limiting their options.
Of course, I don’t expect everyone to get As in English and grammar and create every forum or Facebook post as if it were going to an editor. I also realize that those using mobile devices such as an iPhone to post up may find it easier to abbreviate 75% of what they say to save time. It’s really hard to tell everyone how frustrating your day was when you are behind the wheel.
However, I have seen, first hand, the spelling and grammar of some people (the young especially) and it scares me. I loved to read and write at a very early age and so once again, I understand that it isn’t everyone’s bag but *damn*! Every single person in sixth grade or above should be able to form a logical, flowing sentence that conveys its point in a concise manner. What happens more often is abbreviated ramblings mixed in with so much slang that nobody over the age of 21 can make it out. Why is that bad, you ask? I’ll tell you.
We aren’t always 18 years old and looking for the next party or date. We can’t always spend our days using fuel to drive up and down the Boulevard looking for action. We won’t always be young and pain-free and full of energy. At one point, we must get jobs, pay bills, figure out taxes, fill out forms, create a resume, and so on and so forth. And that, I fear, is what will separate the men from the boys, so to speak.
If you have spent 50% of your life on an iPhone, sending messages like, “Whre u at, grl?” or “FML, wntd to prty so bad I ht my prnts”, does anyone really believe that they’ll be able to clean up their act for a job interview? Now, I realize that every generation thinks the newer one is full of foul-ups and morons, but this newest generation of teens actually scares me a little. Luckily, you still need a decent education to get into most professions that actually make a difference but still, it’s scary. Doctors, lawyers, bankers, psychiatrists and even police will always be required to prove at least a basic knowledge of reading and writing.
I know a guy, right now, who can send out an email where easily 75% of the content is horribly misspelled or so jacked up grammatically that it must be read three and four times just to break its code. That man is 42 years old and doesn’t hold a high school diploma. I’m just saying.