Analphabetism and Alphabetism

Analphabetism and Alphabetism

In everyday endeavors, one notices a considerable difference between individuals who got a good education and the less educated. Human life can be said to be a continuous struggle between two pretensions: only a few individuals obtain school knowledge while the rest attain basic knowledge. The education gets learned through alphabetic and analphabetic structures of language. Analphabetism is a situation where an individual is unable to read or write and therefore is not able to understand a given text. The inability itself of being unable to read and write represents analphabetism. Analphabetism does not necessarily mean less intellectuality, but rather it is a direct result of an individual lacking knowledge on a given language (Gelb 203). On the other hand, alphabetism is the ability to record and read alphabets which can get considered as a form of literacy. In alphabetism, there exists overreliance on the use of alphabet and alphabetic structures. Alphabetic structures are not pronounced but rather the letters they consist get spelled.

Many individuals believe that alphabetism is inherently superior to analphabetism. The most commonly used alphabet is the European alphabet. Many individuals acquire literacy through different alphabets instead of the European alphabet (Rogers 51). Many think alphabetic orthographies are perfect in learning and therefore none alphabetic scripts should be discarded. The ramifications of these proposals will significantly affect the different curriculums around the globe. A lot of influential scholars mostly from the Western countries have argued that alphabetic systems are inherently superior compared to an alphabetic order (Gelb 217). Many supporters of alphabetism refer to Gelb well-founded grammatology. Gelb created an evolutionary view of the existing writing system. The 1st stage of alphabetism was primitive and then came the pre-alphabetic system and lastly alphabetism. According to Gelb, writing managed to evolve from natural ways to fully coherent alphabet (p. 203).

In comparison to analphabetic writing systems, alphabetism gets seen as an evolutionary trend. It is the fittest way of writing. It evolved from a logographic system to a syllabic system and later on became the alphabetic system. In terms of Darwinian evolution, such a trend gives a notion that alphabetism is better (Rayner, and Pollatsek 46). Other scholars refer to analphabetism as an imperfect way of writing (Rayner, and Pollatsek 36). They argue that analphabetic systems hinder creativity, especially in the science field. Lacking alphabetic knowledge diminishes the propensity for analytical and abstract thinking (Hannas 203). Analphabetic structures are easier to deal with when it comes to illiterates as compared to alphabetism. Analphabetism existed much earlier in ancient times while alphabetism came much later (Rogers 51). Rogers also points out that children can learn analphabetic structures easily and quickly compared to alphabetic arrangements.

In terms of lexical meaning, alphabetism can get defined as words created by combining initial letters of given words due to brevity. Alphabetisms get formed with no regard to pronunciation. Analphabetism gets formed from initial letters of words found in a given phrase. In alphabetisms, the emphasis is put on the pragmatic effectiveness of such creations on their concision (Algeo et al. 24). Some alphabetisms substitute their business structures eventually supplanting them. Analphabetism has reduced forms in that the initials of their constituents in a given phrase get pronounced in concatenation. As lexemes, alphabetisms seem more transparent compared to analphabetism. It merely means that the source phrase gets effortlessly retrieved in the English language.

There exists a contrast in terms of the syntactic behavior of analphabetism and alphabetisms. The distinction spawns from definite descriptions and shows a generalized pattern (Harley 372). According to her, alphabetisms get created from source phrases, and their behavior is exceptional. Analphabetism behaves in a way similar to bare location nominal because their structure is identical to that of proper names syntactically and therefore, they exist without determiners or any form of plural marking. Analphabetism consists of pictorial characters that have no alphabet structure; therefore, understanding the message becomes almost impossible for foreigners of a given language. Analphabetism can get categorized into absolute analphabetism and relative analphabetism. In relative analphabetism, one code is unknown while the other system is known. Analphabetism slows the pace of development in some countries. Analphabetism contributes to high unemployment levels in states that do not utilize alphabetic structures. In scenarios where substantive law gets exercised, analphabetism affects the victims significantly in that they are unable to identify violations in their rights; thus, they cannot sue those responsible as expected.

One can, therefore, conclude that Alphabetism counters the superiority claim and experimental evidence show syllable-based writing systems. A lot of languages use the method of alphabetical characters. In alphabetism, learners find it hard to study in the earlier years while they tried to master alphabetic structures unlike in analphabetism. Those who don’t speak a given language will have a hard time especially if they don’t know the alphabet. Unlike analphabetic writing systems, alphabetism has enhanced reading developments (Hannas 202). Analphabetism systems which may consist syllabic writing can be considered superior to alphabetism in specific contexts. Alphabetism shouldn’t get considered superior to underwriting systems because different languages include of different structures underwriting systems particularly the complexity of syllables.




Algeo, John et al. Problems in The Origins and Development of The English Language. Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2014, pp. 22-28.

Gelb, Ignace J. A Study of Writing. University of Chicago Press, 1963, pp. 201-301.

Hannas, W. C. The Writing on The Wall: How Asian Orthography Curbs Creativity. University of Philadelphia Press, 2003, pp. 201-207.

Harley, H., Why Is It the CIA but not *The NASA? Acronyms, Initialisms and Definite Descriptions, in American Speech, vol. 79, 4/2004, p. 368-399.

Pyles, T., Algeo, J., The Origins and Development of the English Language, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich College Publishers, 1993.

Rayner, Keith, and Alexander Pollatsek. The Psychology of Reading. Taylor And Francis, 2013, pp. 32-41.

Rogers, H. “Optimal Orthographies.” In Scripts and Literacy. 1st ed., Kluwer Academic Publishers., 1995, pp. 45-58.