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Old 06-17-2019, 07:33 PM
3,549 posts, read 1,364,467 times
Reputation: 6975


"You would be hard pressed, if not impossible, to find someone who could not read at all."
you might be.
not us.

Old 06-17-2019, 07:38 PM
1,607 posts, read 1,122,065 times
Reputation: 2414
Originally Posted by kevxu View Post
What I have put in bold describes many English-speaking people I have encountered who were permanent residents in foreign countries. They very, very often had no ability to communicate in the language of the country, and recognized at best perhaps ten or twenty basic words on signs.....although "detour" was often not one of them.
Had to laugh about this. Americans like to complain about immigrants who don't learn English. However, I lived in France for several years courtesy of my large corporate employer and found that most of my fellow American expats made zero effort to learn French beyond navigating a basic restaurant menu. What a waste of a great opportunity.

I'm not sure how to say "detour" in French, though. Never did drive there. It might actually be "detour."
Old 06-17-2019, 08:00 PM
Location: Kansas City North
4,042 posts, read 7,320,577 times
Reputation: 5908
In the mid 1970s, my first “real” job was working at the home office of a company that sold credit life insurance - the stuff they sell you when you buy that “four piece living room suit” at Jim Bob’s furniture and you finance it for three years. It’ll pay off your loan if you die. A total rip-off, but that’s a discussion for somewhere else.

The customer had to sign a refund request form if they paid the loan off early, and part of my job was to process those forms. There were a lot of them from Appalachia and the Ozarks that were just signed with an “X”. Quite an eye opener for this child of the suburbs.
Old 06-17-2019, 08:47 PM
5,691 posts, read 8,758,435 times
Reputation: 4913
The guy that mows my lawns is illiterate. He's smart as a whip and can fix all kinds of machines but I learned early on that he can't read. He probably has a learning disability and this was before schools focused on addressing them.

He also has a job cutting trees so it seems employers have been willing to work with him.
Old 06-18-2019, 05:32 AM
Location: Cebu, Philippines
4,403 posts, read 1,669,820 times
Reputation: 8007
Originally Posted by craigiri View Post
Not according to all documents I was able to find........

(in the south)
"The black illiteracy rate continued to fall during the first half of the twen- tieth century, dropping to slightly more than 25 percent in 1920."

It fell very steeply from there and "blacks born in that time" would have been measured in 1950, when the rate was closer to 90 percent literate.

They speak of "9th grade education" in a lot of documents about the South (both black and white), but that is plenty of education enough to be literate.

The regional literacy rate in the south was much lower than the national average, which may very well have been 75% overall considering levels in northern states nearly equal to whites.. Mosi illiterate blacks were in the south. Where I observed and reported those I had met in response to the OP.
Old 06-18-2019, 06:39 AM
Location: Middle America
36,633 posts, read 41,906,761 times
Reputation: 50469
My grandma, mentioned previously on the thread, was a product of poor educational systems in the deep south in the 1930s and 40s (in addition to having a learning disability). She is white, and from Appalachia. The limits of education were equivalent in the mountains and valleys where she grew up for both her white family and their black neighbors, in that there were highly insufficient schools, and nobody living there had any money to send their kids elsewhere to better ones. Poor meant limited access to resources for everyone, black and white alike.
Old 06-18-2019, 07:54 AM
47 posts, read 12,564 times
Reputation: 119
I knew something who could read at a basic level, but she could not write. When it came to filling out job applications or such, she had to have someone review and correct it for her. With grammar and spell check available, maybe she is going better nowadays.
Old 06-18-2019, 02:24 PM
Location: Loudon, TN
5,781 posts, read 4,833,476 times
Reputation: 19420
My grandmother couldn't read. She was raised in the country and was an only daughter. When her mother died, she had to quit 3rd grade to cook and clean for the family while her dad worked the fields. She soon forgot how to read and never learned it again. It didn't hold her back, she could do sums and division in her head, and she had what she needed to get by as a wife and stay at home mother.
Old 06-18-2019, 02:29 PM
Location: Kirkland, WA (Metro Seattle)
3,987 posts, read 3,255,234 times
Reputation: 7094
Had a pal in college who might have been, I found out he couldn't read a map about our junior year. He dropped out about then, for reasons unknown. So he had some sort of challenge. I didn't pursue it further, if he wanted to discuss it he would have. To save face, I was careful about what I asked him moving forward. People have pride. Haven't seen him in decades, I'll never know and hope he did okay in life now that we're both middle aged.

If somehow someone admitted they couldn't read (to me), and made noise like they'd like to, I wouldn't feel sorry for them per se. I'd take time from my day to connect them to resources to help, in a dignified way. That's what adults want, their dignity. I sure would, in such a situation. I'd then step back and go about my business, in a non-smug way: rather, that maybe I'd helped bridge a communications gap, no more or less. Which btw is what I do for a living, getting nerds to speak to the business in my case which is much like herding bobcats and about as pleasant.

"Feeling sorry for," wow. I'm a bit "up there" on what used to be the Asperger's continuum, compared to most, that being not quite diagnosable but not terribly far off either. One of many symptoms is a fairly flat emotional affect, and not really understanding a lot of the emotion that drives most people day by day. The vast bulk of it is laughable bordering on contemptible "to me," so I blow it off until I can't. I can make dispassionate decisions pretty fast, it's just facts and business almost all the time.

I've had a friend or two "confide" in me they feel a bit bad I don't have a wife or kids, and my very first remark is always, "God willing I never will!" If I catch even a hint of condescension, I chuckle and say: most of that is alien to me as a bug under a rock, don't "feel sorry for" non-normals. We're making our way in life taking different pleasures than most. Just sayin'. I'm guessing some illiterates are ashamed, many could care less. I'm not judging much either way, though I derive great enjoyment from books, articles, and writing. So what? That's me. They're glued to a TV or what some jackass rabble rousing "community activist" has to say, and happy as well!
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