Word blindness

14 Jan

This week, some 150 first year students will be sitting a two hour exam for my Writing for Public Relations module.

Some won’t like it and many won’t be able to concentrate for the full two hours (exams are now much less widely used than they once were in education). But I feel it’s a fair assessment for a discipline that expects all its junior practitioners to be able to draft a news release as an entry level requirement.

Yet there’s a general trend away from literate expression to oral expression and I read Simon Garfield’s long, excellent article on dyslexia in the Observer Magazine with interest – as many as one in ten in the population may suffer from ‘word blindness’. (At this late stage in the magazine production process I’m reminded once again that my emphasis on words means that I’m weak in coming up with matching visual images.)

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