Literal Literacy What Every American Needs to Know First

Author: Kovacs, George
Year:1993
Pages:184
ISBN:0-7734-3042-3
978-0-7734-3042-6
Price:159.95
This book is a call to logic, to lucidity, to the using of language as a clear and effective means of communication. Incorrect, imprecise and illogical use of language may well have geographical, political, philosophical, and international implications; that is why "literal literacy" is pre-eminently important and must precede the pursuit of any other kind of "literacy" (i.e. "computer" and "cultural").
The contents of this volume -- drawing on ideas cited in its predecessor -- expand the illustrated world of illiteracy by citing examples from realms as disparate as advertising, sportscasting, popular music, publishing, and "higher education", as well as from such colloquial modes of usage as idioms, euphemisms and redundancies. (In addition, it also contains chapters about various other fascinating and amusing contemporary linguistic phenomena.) The author hopes to have proven that, when people talk about "the failure to communicate" in this country, they are talking not about a disinclination to communicate or about a hesitancy to reveal thoughts and feelings but about the actual, concrete inability to phrase what one wishes to communicate.

Reviews

"In addition to increasing the cogency of arguments that might seem problematic if less skillfully and diversely exemplified, Dr. Kovacs' illustrations, culled from conversations, students' papers, advertisements, news stories, editorials, motion pictures, dramas, musical comedies, and programs on television, remind readers that he is living in and writing from the vantage point of the real world, rather than from the rarefied atmosphere of some ivory tower to which he has withdrawn in disgust at the misuse of the English language. . . . His is a call to arms that must be heard and heeded -- before the swelling epidemic of illiteracy makes itself impossible to describe and thereby makes combatting it an impossibility." - Dr. Louise Jaffe

". . . provocative reading. It addresses the concerns of all those who love English. And whether the reader agrees with Kovacs and uses his examples as the seed for future lesson plans, or disagrees and writes vehement `I don't think so!s' all over the margins, he will be engaged and left with much food for thought." - Deborah Sinnreich-Levi