Power of the Printed Word. Speaks of illiteracy

Essay by Anonymous UserHigh School, 12th gradeA-, January 1996

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There are an estimated 1.3 billion of them in the world today. They can¹t read the newspaper nor write a letter to a dear friend. They can¹t fill out their own forms nor read great plays by Shakespeare and novels by Dickens. They are illiterates.

Not being able to read or write would be a big problem in todays world. Almost everything we do involves some sort of reading or writing. Whether it be driving and being able to read road signs to stay on track or just going grocery shopping where the ingredients section on a can of soup is a complete waste of writing. In our world today everything is starting to be run by computers and that means if you are illiterate you wouldn¹t be able to get a job involving any use of computers. Without good reading and writing skills your future would be very limited to what you can do.

Literacy comes in two different types. There is literacy where you can read up to and through college material and there is functional literacy where a persons reading and writing skills meet the demands of survival, work, and well being. For example, in the U.S. 98 percent of the country is literate but about 35 percent of those people have functional literacy. Most people who have functional literacy don¹t become as successful in the future as would a fully literate person. In every job in the world today a person will need at least some sort of literacy. It could be filling out work papers or reading directions.

North America isn¹t where the illiteracy problem lies. The problem lies in nations such as Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Three quarters of Africa and one half of Asia is illiterate. Also, out of the...