The Latest Illiteracy
Forum No. 3, “The Latest Illiteracy”, now brings together many instances of, as well as some reflections on, how different—largely, how much worse —things are these days, both in print and in speech. The underlying questions are the enduring ones. Really worse, not just different? What is the evidence? Is it merely that all of us are getting older, and that the invocation of a golden age is becoming more of a lure? Is it not the case that in the Paston Letters, as long ago as the 15th century, the complaint was being voiced that servants be not so diligent as they were wont to be? Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose?
The “Latest Illiteracy” resists excuses and acquiescences. It is the work of two highly articulate writers—Jim McCue and Bryan Garner—who wish to help others to be no less articulate —and, since individuality is to be respected and fostered, help them to be variously and personally articulate.