20th Century literacy, is it cut and dried

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Pessimistic

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I recently got thinking about some family/social history I did in my birth town, holmfirth. Small rural textile/farmin town in the upland valleys of West Yorkshire/ Peak District

I went to the library to check the newspaper microfiche collection. Hers an example from the 1920s
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Pessimistic

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I was looking for the story on the right, my grandfather was a navvie there. But look at the language. It would have more in common with a ‘broadsheet’ today.

And the fiche from the late 1800s had the bare minimum local stuff and would carry stories about the empire, foreign affairs. All sorts of stuff. Clearly it’s local audience would be happy reading that. Population now 25,000 not sure what it was in 1920.

And yet we are to (wrongly) tell ourselves education is improving over time. I suppose these papers pre dated television and radio too.

It makes you think. I got quite an awakening
 

owen87

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I was looking for the story on the right, my grandfather was a navvie there. But look at the language. It would have more in common with a ‘broadsheet’ today.

And the fiche from the late 1800s had the bare minimum local stuff and would carry stories about the empire, foreign affairs. All sorts of stuff. Clearly it’s local audience would be happy reading that. Population now 25,000 not sure what it was in 1920.

And yet we are to (wrongly) tell ourselves education is improving over time. I suppose these papers pre dated television and radio too.

It makes you think. I got quite an awakening

People had much longer attention spans to actually read an article back then, without the distractions of modern technology.

Also the educated are probably no less literate (or perhaps moreso) than today, just at a guess, more people as a whole in society are reading to a minimum standard in modern times.
 

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Pessimistic

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I have a record that some parts of the area had a school from 1690, even if it was just sunday school for some of the the Kids. Who would be contributing some kind of labour to the community too.

My Mother would have left school c age 14 but the small village primary school had one or two dozen kids and she said she was welcome to join in at age 3-ish.
What really interested me was the 'worldiness' of some of the articles (sorry I dont have examples - i was looking for local content) Holmfirth or Holme Valley Express started as circulation in its own right in 1888, but was part of "Huddersfield and Holmfirth" examiner in 1851

Sadly it was re-merged with the Huddersfield examiner in 2009, following the decline in print media. There's been several attempts to have distinct local content online since.
 

Seeds

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People had much longer attention spans to actually read an article back then, without the distractions of modern technology.

Also the educated are probably no less literate (or perhaps moreso) than today, just at a guess, more people as a whole in society are reading to a minimum standard in modern times.
That’s wrong. the educated are more literate today. teaching methods are better. Kids are taught from a younger age. People have greater Access to knowledge. Kids don’t suffer from lead poisoning or malnourishment which affected their intellect.

You are confusing attention spans with boredom. People in the past were more bored and had less choice.
 

owen87

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Apr 23, 2016
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That’s wrong. the educated are more literate today. teaching methods are better. Kids are taught from a younger age. People have greater Access to knowledge. Kids don’t suffer from lead poisoning or malnourishment which affected their intellect.

You are confusing attention spans with boredom. People in the past were more bored and had less choice.

Do you know what literacy is?
 

owen87

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Apr 23, 2016
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No I suggest you actually get to the point rather than continue to obsfucate. As right now it appears you have no point and are backtracking.

Backtracking from what?

You quoted my post, then made various out of context commentary, and are now trying to claim I have no point.

Classic Seeds.
 

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