[LMB] Why we still need paper books

Paula Lieberman paal at gis.net
Wed Sep 21 14:25:35 BST 2011

Charlemagne couldn't write or read letter and words in ANY language until he 
started learning as an adult. It wasn't a matter of WHICH language to be 
literate in, he wasn';t literate in ANY language, reading and writing were 
skills taught to boys destined to be monks or priests of perhaps lay 
brothers or scribes, not people out in the secular world who were not 
specifically trained to be scribes to read and write for other people, for 

-----Original Message----- 
From: Eric Oppen
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2011 7:18 PM
To: lois-bujold at lists.herald.co.uk
Subject: Re: [LMB] Why we still need paper books

Quoting Paula Lieberman <paal at gis.net>:

> Literacy is something even the upper classes couldn't do in most of
> history, Charlemagned learned to read as an adult, was never all that
> facile reading, and was never really literate as regarding being able
> to -write- fluently...

"Literacy" defined how?  In Charlemagne's time, that meant, as I
understand it, being able to read and write Latin---not Frankish (does
anybody know what that language was like, and did Charlemagne still
speak it?) not Gallo-Romance or Early French (again, I'm not sure what
the dividing line between those languages is.)

In China, you weren't considered "literate" unless you could handle
Classical Chinese until relatively very recently.  Even people who
could read and write modern Chinese weren't counted if they couldn't
do the Classical language, which is very different---very compressed,
among other things.

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