Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fort Worth & Other Texas Town's Low Literacy Ranking

Last night I learned from Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, that a new police and firefighter training center will soon have her town being the Envy of the Nation.

This morning I learned, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, in an article titled Texas cities fare poorly in measure of literacy, that Fort Worth's level of literacy will not be making this town the Envy of the Nation, coming in at #52, five ranks less literate than Dallas at #47.

The most literate city in Texas is Austin, at #23.

The most literate city in America is Washington, D.C., with #2 being Seattle, in the other Washington.

No mention of this literacy ranking was seen this morning in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. I highly doubt the mayor of Seattle will be opining that Seattle's high literacy ranking has made Seattle the Envy of the Nation.

Because making such a claim would be seen as really really goofy when made in an extremely literate town.

While such a claim can be easily made in Fort Worth.

Does making a goofy Envy of the Nation claim, about something in Fort Worth, not cause much local eye rolling because of the town's relative illiteracy? One can only wonder.

This America's Most Literate Cities study is a product of Central Connecticut State University. The study ranks cities with populations in excess of a quarter million, focusing on six key literacy indicators, those being the number of bookstores, Internet resources, library resources, the population's educational attainment, newspaper circulation and periodical publishing resources.

With most of my existence spent in the highly literate Seattle zone, then being exiled to the much less literate Fort Worth and Texas zone, it sort of explains one of my problems I encountered upon arrival in Texas.

I found I could not speak at the speed level I was used to using in the Pacific Northwest. I'd get in communication situations where I found myself not being understood. I soon learned to drawl my speaking speed down, at times.

There have been many times where a Texan has asked me if I am from England. Or Canada. Just last week, whilst depositing a check, the bank teller asked if I was from Boston. Boston? Why Boston I asked? Because of your accent, said he. I don't think this guy knew what a Boston accent actually sounds like. A Pacific Northwest accent is definitely not a Boston sounding accent.

Now to be fair, and Lord knows I am all about being fair, I have met many totally literate Texans. Gar the Texan comes to mind. Yes, I did find myself having to slow down my speaking speed to be understood, but not all that much. Elsie Hotpepper is another extremely literate Texan, albeit with a much more pronounced drawl than Gar the Texan.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Bud Kennedy is a highly articulate, very literate Texan. But, in my experience in Texas, for every literate Texan Bud Kennedy there have been 3 or 4 Texan Dud Kennedy's who could have benefited from spending more quality time in school. And maybe reading something, somewhere, every once in awhile....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Y cant u all read realy good enuf in Texas?