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Sarah, The Bringer of Tea - Functional Illiteracy?
27th December, 2007
01:30 pm

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Functional Illiteracy?
We just got the following email from my mother-in-law. I quote it in its entirety, apart from headers, and have removed the name of the care home where my father-in-law is living:

Tried to contact you Christmas day; couldn't. Happy Christmas, belately....{we now have power} Please give me care home phone number; I have lost it, Lots of love to you and Sarah and Sarah's mum mum

Would you believe that this woman used to be an English teacher, and is a published writer? "I have lost it" indeed.

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From:marnanel
Date:27th December, 2007 01:37 pm (UTC)
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I think it often seems to happen that when inexperienced people who could compose a perfectly coherent written letter are faced with an empty email composition screen they go all to pieces.
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From:techiebabe
Date:27th December, 2007 01:47 pm (UTC)
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Oh dear. Maybe she means "...the plot".

I can better that though. My mother is starting to use all the functions of her mobile phone. Recently she sent me a letter (i.e. on paper, through the post) which simply read:

"Br. Hs, TA1 3QZ.

D F,

OK?

L,M. xx"

ARGH!
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From:auntysarah
Date:27th December, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
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What worries me more is that while I was staring at this in puzzled incomprehension, Sylvia who was looking over my shoulder simply said, "Postcode, brother's house".

They're coming to get me!
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From:techiebabe
Date:27th December, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
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It's actually Bridge House, but I wouldn't expect you to guess that!
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From:marnanel
Date:27th December, 2007 01:48 pm (UTC)
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I have no idea as to what that might mean, other than that the end of the first line is presumably an address in Somerset.
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From:techiebabe
Date:27th December, 2007 02:39 pm (UTC)
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Dear Flash, how are you? Love Mother xx

(I imagine.)

Why she had to POST this... I don't know. Perhaps she grew sick of doing it all by mobile.
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From:marnanel
Date:27th December, 2007 02:44 pm (UTC)
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Oh, that's interesting. I would always have read "OK?" in a sentence on its own as "Is this message acknowledged?" (cf the seventies "xyz Rules... OK?") rather than "Are you all right?"

Edited at 2007-12-27 14:45 (UTC)
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From:beckyrachel
Date:28th December, 2007 01:22 am (UTC)
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The only saving grace; is that there is no, greengrocer's apostrophe' springle'd liberally thoughout. or perhaps I'm losing the 'plot' too!!!

There, a few of my pet hates aired.

One important thing to remember about published authors is that they have a rare creature called an editor that corrects their mistakes before publication.

Belately... grinds teeth...
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From:julieisfree
Date:28th December, 2007 04:04 am (UTC)
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Well.. it conveys all the holiday warmth of a parking ticket dated December 25th.
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