Wired – Clive Thompson on the New Literacy

[tweetmeme source=”librarianbyday” only_single=false] You often here people bemoaning what Twitter and texting are doing to our writing skills and language.  This article from Wired magazine offers a different perspective. It quotes Andrea Lunsford, a professor of writing and rhetoric at Stanford University:

“I think we’re in the midst of a literacy revolution the likes of which we haven’t seen since Greek civilization,” she says. For Lunsford, technology isn’t killing our ability to write. It’s reviving it—and pushing our literacy in bold new directions.

Lunsford collected 14,672 student writing samples from 2001 to 2006 —”everything from in-class assignments, formal essays, and journal entries to emails, blog posts, and chat sessions” and analyzed them.

The first thing she found is that young people today write far more than any generation before them. That’s because so much socializing takes place online, and it almost always involves text.

An interesting observation on writing in general.

Before the Internet came along, most Americans never wrote anything, ever, that wasn’t a school assignment. Unless they got a job that required producing text (like in law, advertising, or media), they’d leave school and virtually never construct a paragraph again.

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