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chuck woolery

Reading, writing, what good is it? and what to Read anyway?

by chuck woolery at 01:06 PM on August 23, 2005

A rare (for me, as opposed to Anna) 2 post day…

In my job I read constantly. Read police reports, read decisions, read legal articles and publications, read letters from lawyers etc… I also read a fair amount of letters sent to my office by members of the public, some of which contain a fair amount of unintentional humour… I’ll get to that in a moment…

In my spare time I also read a fair amount, as I imagine most who frequent this site, built around the written word as it is, do. After all you could be surfing through sites with much nicer pictures and moving things and all that.

Most of the written word I go through is professionals writing or at least talented amateurs writing because they want to, and they enjoy doing it. Most is fairly good quality. Not all of the content is terribly interesting, but most contains more or less correct syntax, grammar and spelling. Some of us make extensive use of spell check to confirm spelling etc, but can get by with minimal mistakes in the prose we handwrite too.

Then there are the people that come into contact with the police on a frequent basis due to the lifestyle they lead, and the people that they associate with. Many are accused of crimes, a few are trying to get the prosecutors office to stop prosecuting people that did things to them. All shapes and sizes, and predominately low on the literacy scale. Many make basic mistakes that require some thought to decode. Frequently I have to read words out loud to decipher what the author means. You’d be surprised how many people revert to a phonetic spelling when they can’t think of the correct spelling. They also have a tendency to break words in half. The best example I can think of is Prosecutor spelt pros ecutor.

Of course the general and comparative literacy of the average Joe crops up in funny places, like where Toyota is building plants…

So anybody have any suggestions for some good reading? Too much crap out there, hard to find something that I actually want to read…

comments (3)

I don't read for pleasure anymore. If you like, I could recommend a number of great picture books aimed at the toddler set. You wont know the sense of accomplishment when you can finish reading a whole book in under five minutes.

by mg at August 23, 2005 10:12 PM


I've been to Alabama people, ain't a whole lot to see / Skynard says it's a real sweet home but it ain't nothin' to me. But seriously there are butt-ignorant folks down there. Unlike Georgians, their southern accents aren't endearing. It's like the difference between English english and the lower-class cockney version of it. Head = 'ed and so on.

by anna at August 24, 2005 8:48 AM


What genre do you like to read? Non-fiction, humor, mystery, stuff they'd give a college English class?

I used to be the receptionist at a place that shared the floor with a law firm. They'd sometimes get random calls, walk-ins or letters. One time, a letter arrived that had sentences starting in lower-case, words with caps in the middle and real kid-like writing. The other receptionist said, "Why the hell would a kid be writing to us?" And then we both got real quiet when we realized that it was *not* a kid who's written in. Just someone who could barely write. It's hard to imagine not being able to read and write.

by Leaffin at August 26, 2005 8:56 AM



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