A Tasmanian reader writes to a newspaper column, describing what happened when her husband tried to hire a car at Sydney airport. Given his credit card and driver’s licence, the clerk punched several computer keys fruitlessly before asking helplessly: “Is Tasmania in New Zealand?”
A university lecturer discovers that of the 33 students in her class, not one has heard of Chairman Mao. What’s more, they get irritated when she expresses astonishment. “How would we know that unless we’d studied Chinese history?” they demand of her.
What scares me is that much (if not all) of what Gare writes is apparent to me — and I fear for the implication it has for business communication.
How are we as communicators going to communicate to a less-and-less literate audience? Do we ‘dumb down’ in order to connect?
Will the incoming batch of BusComms graduates be unable to write half-decent copy? Will advertising copywriting fall into dismal disarray?