Russell Blake has a wonderful and powerful message about the decline in literacy in the United States. This is something we can stop. As teachers, writers, humans, and bloggers.
That is, if we are willing to challenge our readers.
The less comfort we have with words, the less command we have of them, the less we can think in a meaningful manner. We lack the terms, the basic vocabulary, with which to frame the narrative or debate. We can’t reason, use logic, because we don’t understand its basic concepts and rules. We don’t understand what argument from authority or post hoc reasoning or any of the other logical fallacies are because we don’t understand the concepts or the words used to define them, so we make poor decisions or are easily deceived. Again and again. Like a smoker who makes the poor decision to light up a cigarette 20 or 30 times a day, and who ultimately winds up with respiratory problems or worse, we as a society make poor decisions on a daily basis that result in an unhealthy host, a diseased culture riddled with morbidity.