Literally Littered with Illiteracy

by : Stephen Brennan

There’s some ‘alliteration’ for you! My great concern though, is the fact that there are too many today who wouldn’t understand the title or know the meaning of ‘alliteration’ (a repetition of words beginning with the same letter – as in Peter Piper picked a peck......). You might ask, 'What has this to do with Internet Home Based Business?'. I'll get to that.

I’m a member of a number of forums and in each, at some point, and often on a number of occasions, there is long discussion regarding the standard of literacy among graduates these days (or over the last twenty years or so). It's perfectly obvious in every forum that many people don’t have even the most basic skills when it comes to grammar and spelling.

Perusing as many websites as I do on a daily basis, as do all those who make their livings through home based business, I sometimes find myself despairing for some of those who have recently been through the so called educational institutions that pass as schools in western countries. I am Australian, I have spoken with many in the U.S., Britain and Canada and it would seem that the problem isn’t only relevant to any one country or area in the West.

Even when I worked in the ‘real’ world, I had occasion to hire graduates who, of course, needed to fill out an application. I still have a couple of extraordinary examples of ‘education failing miserably’.

I posed earlier, 'What does this have to do with Internet Home Based Business?'. When you consider that the level of literacy required to put together a reasonable quality website, fill it with passable content and promote it to search engines and the Internet population in general, is beyond the average High School graduate's writing (spelling and grammar) capabilities, this is indeed a huge concern. Of course, you not only have to be able to write but also have to be able to read and understand others.

Where will we find ourselves in ten or fifteen years if something is not done now to remedy this long-standing problem. Time and again throughout the years I have heard people complain about the quality of grammar and/or spelling of our graduates, let alone the ability to create and write a good article, some reasonable website content or a passable essay.

All forecasts indicate huge increases in the level of activity on the Internet, from those who will use it to buy all manner of items, possibly eventually alleviating the need for the giant shopping complexes we now have, to the thousands (dare I say millions) who will be joining the fortunate one’s who have been able to turn their home office and PC into a means to earn the weekly wage.

What then, of all these unfortunate young people in a world where the written word, once again, becomes as important as speech itself? How will they get on, what will be their lot in this Internet driven world of the future? Dim to say the least, I dare say.

In just the last five to ten years the way in which we communicate has undergone a huge change from telephone, telex (there's and oldie!) and letter to email. Anyone who goes to work in an office today, who doesn’t know how to use email, will be ‘incommunicado’. In fact, there are few who don’t exchange information, greetings and news in their homes among friends and relatives via email today. It’s the simple, popular, cheap and secure way in which every type of communication takes place and what are we doing? Still turning out thousands of youngsters each year who have been short-changed by a system which has, albeit unexpectedly, left them unarmed, with no cover in an ‘illiterate no-mans land’.

There are some who have managed to come through the ‘mill’ with a good degree of ability to express themselves with the written word, but I would hazard a guess that there are two or three who haven’t for every one who has. The crying shame is that it’s not their fault.

If we are going to give in to a world virtually (pun intended) built around the Internet, isn’t it a good idea if those in it are able to read and write?