English 204 1
October 24th 2011
Ong: Three kinds of literacy
1. “Craft literacy”: an elite. A particular craft where only a small
amount of the population can read or write, passed down.
2. “Recitation literacy”: a significant proportion of the population
can recognize letters and words. They can recognize and read but
they cannot write.
3. “Scriptorial literacy”: a significant proportion of the population
can write words. More people can read and write.
Literacy during the first millennium AD
• relatively low during the first millennium
o those in church
o wealthy individuals
o battling disease/plague
o high mortality rate
o wars – fighting and dying
o Anglo-Saxon (Germanic) mother tongue vs. Norman (French) conquerors
• why/how did literacy rise in England?
o Important, inclusion, of the church in everyday life
o Latin is a “learned” language, theref