Oppression of the written word

Every time I see the word ‘literacy’, I think of the ability to engage with and make meaning of the written, text-based, alphabetised language. To be literate in other mediums seems to be not literate but instead something else – fluency of another form. Language in its emergent nature has sedimented this lexeme in our vocabulary with the association of text-only. Is it possible to reclaim the word and broaden its meaning for other purposes without removing the historical trace? Do we need to burn all the dictionaries (or at least the section LIE-LISP) to give the word a new lease of life?

It’s quite astounding how limiting words can be but how fundamental they are today to our way of thinking.


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