You can meet a lot of people whose eyes glaze over when shown a string of numbers. They will then announce that “they are no good at maths”, and often sound proud of it. This is serious problem for a society where numbers provide one of the fundamental languages of power and creativity. No doubt as today is the UN’s World Maths Day, much ink will be spilt on this issue. But I want to write about the other fundamental language of power and creativity, which is, well, language. It suffers from the mirror problem to maths, because the world is full of people who reckon they learnt all they need to know about reading in primary school, and that anything they find hard to understand must be some other idiot’s fault.
- English literature