Saturday, September 10, 2011
The colonials were better readers than modern Americans
That's the topic of this post over at Freakonomics: Were Colonial Americans More Literate than Americans Today? The answer is yes, perhaps not quantatively, but qualitatively. The people who could read were far better readers than we are, as the post notes. I attribute this to the more rigorous standards of basic education (the study of Latin and Greek tend to enable people to follow complex synatax more effectively in English, plus the study of those languages boosts English vocabulary when it comes to complex words which are often derrived from Latin and Greek roots). The near uniform exposure of colonials to that jewel of the English language, the King James translation of the Bible, didn't hurt either.