The Progression of Literacy

my bookshelf (while
filling it after a move)
Just a thought:

First, letters, words, and literacy have no meaning.

Then, individual letters have meanings unto themselves—names, sounds, and possibilities.

Then, letters hold meaning only through the words they create—words for things, actions, descriptions, and so on.

Then, words hold meaning through the sentences they construct, articulating statements and questions.

Then, sentences hold meaning through the passages they build, developing scenes, images and ideas.

Then, passages hold meaning through the stories, essays, and books they form, which constitute full, self-contained expressions of human experiences and arguments.

Finally, stories, books, and all written things hold meaning through the wonder, knowledge, and fulfillment they add to our lives. Letters, words, sentences, passages, and even books are ignored or forgotten, but their importance lives on in the meaning they've brought to our hearts and minds.


  1. Some times the true meaning of the word is unclear until the word is in the story and used in context with those other words which thus make it become clear.


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