Here is just a partial list of daily interfacing with words:
*instructions for taking prescription drugs;
*ingredients in the foods we eat, and recipes for food preparation
*GPS directions, street signs;
*directories and signage—both indoors and outdoors—that helps us get to where we want to go;
*instructions for usage of technology
*instructions for assembling furniture and do-it-yourself projects
*notifications of “DO NOT ENTER,” “CAUTION,” “HAZARDOUS MATERIALS,” etc.
*business contracts and legal documents;
Not to mention:
*reading books, news reports, and blogs;
*reading the Holy Bible, the [Noble] Qu’ran, the Bhagavad Gita, Buddhist teachings and the many spiritual and religious texts of the world
*reading horoscopes, comics, and words of comfort
As well as the ever-more ubiquitous:
*social media activities
To mark World Literacy/International Literacy Day, 2015, I invite you to suck on this list as though it is a slowly-dissolving lozenge or piece of hard candy, while imagining living in the world as an illiterate or low-literate individual.
Today, and even in the days to come, you may want to make a conscious effort to be more aware of how much reading [and writing] words is a part of your lifestyle. Observe your own literacy and think about those who lack the skills we take for granted. Please share comments!
If you would like to read more about current literacy initiatives, issues, and statistics, here are a few links to get you started:
Blogger Nadine Tomlinson breaks it down in her piece, “International Literacy Day 2015: About That 16%”
Check out this editorial:
“Reducing Illiteracy On International Literacy Day and Beyond”
Margaret Bernstein’s “East Cleveland Women’s Group among first to post International Literacy Day photos”
In an earlier post, I pointed to some aspects of girls literacy around the world.