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In Defense Of Literacy Essay

1020 words - 5 pages

In “In Defense of Literacy,” Berry explains, that we live in a country that everyone has the privilege to have an education, that it is ridiculous to have to defend literacy yet he still has to do so. Literacy, is the ability to read and write. As well as the ability to think critically. If we didn't have the ability to think critically, reading and writing would just be skills, to move words around. Anyone that’s ever read and written  knows well that’s not true. As Berry says, we need literacy, it is a necessity not an ornament. People do not realize how carelessly we use our words. Words can start off by meaning one thing but if we are not careful enough they can become something totally ...view middle of the document...

In old times only the wealthy people would be able to obtain an education. But now most of us are fortunate to be able to attend school. Unfortunately most people’s view of an education is that of having a good piece of jewelry or just how Berry said an “ornament”. Literacy is fundamental for learning in school. It has an impact on an individual's ability to participate in society and understand the importance of public issues. The world we live in today is very different from a generation ago. We need our population to have strong literacy skills. When having strong literacy skills we can lead to better outcomes for us.
I realize now that the world’s need for literacy is becoming more and more urgent. There is a separation between what people say and what they mean, mostly because they do not think about what they say, instead just shout it out. In this essay Berry points out that we are unintentionally destroying our own language.“We will understand the world, and preserve ourselves and our values in it, only insofar as we have a language that is alert and responsive to it, and careful of it.  I mean that literally.  When we give our plows such brand names as “Sod Blaster,” we are imposing on their use conceptual limits which raise the likelihood that they will be used destructively.” Here Berry is saying that we can often change the meaning of a word when we are not careful. This careless wrong use of words is more dangerous than most people could ever imagine. We give words specific detentions and most of the time change those detentions to something completely different. In other words, our words are a limited resource and we are losing our ability to control them. For example, when we use the word “love” it is supposed to be used when we feel extremely passionate or have deep feelings for someone or something. However, in today’s...

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