I ran across these two articles which I found quite interesting.
The first one made me consider my own usage of the words "literate and illiterate. It's notoriously hard to assess your own usage but I think that I tend to use "illiterate" to mean unable to read and write but to use "literate" to mean educated or perhaps able to appreciate literature.
What do others think?
"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.
I am very sorry, Bob, but I missed this excellent post. I think of Links for Linguaphiles as just being new links about language, and not a discussion. I suspect others missed it for the same reason.
I thought this discussion very interesting, and I want to buy Geoffrey Pullum's book. As for Goldfarb's post, it all reminded me of the Strunk and White types who judge what good English is, even though often their pet peeves aren't supported by evidence. This Garner clearly uses the older definition as an elitist. I surely use it as meaning being able to read or write (literate) or not being able to (illiterate).
I always thought illiterate meant a sick writer, such as Stephen King.
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