Basic literacy is the problem!

July 1, 1996
The April editorial regarding technological literacy strikes a responsive chord with me. We, as a nation, need to address the problem of basic literacy, rather than technological literacy! It is rare that a week passes without the receipt of some sort of message (usually by e-mail) that contains glaring grammatical errors, the wrong use of a homophone, and/or the use of muddled, unfocused rhetoric. I do not include the misspellings in this grouping of writing errors--those are too numerous to m

Basic literacy is the problem!

The April editorial regarding technological literacy strikes a responsive chord with me. We, as a nation, need to address the problem of basic literacy, rather than technological literacy! It is rare that a week passes without the receipt of some sort of message (usually by e-mail) that contains glaring grammatical errors, the wrong use of a homophone, and/or the use of muddled, unfocused rhetoric. I do not include the misspellings in this grouping of writing errors--those are too numerous to mention.

These messages are from "educated" senders, mostly college graduates, and there are indications that the current generation of students is even less adept at basic grammar and the ability to write a clear, logical series of paragraphs than their recent predecessors. These things bother me, and I am a physical scientist!

Then there is the matter of basic mathematical skills . . .

Marshall G. Doane, PhD

Schepens Eye Research Institute

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

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