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Cultural Literacy

More on word chose.  Professor E.D. Hirsch, Jr wrote a book called Cultural Literacy What Americans Need to Know.  He believes there are a minimum of 5000 essential names, phrases, dates and concepts that every American should know so that we can all communicate. The core knowledge would allow us to use fewer words to get our meaning across.  We should be able to assume every American we talk to will know this information.  If I describe something as a Garden of Eden, most people would get a picture in their mind with just three words including the “of.”  Here are a few others to consider:  “There’s more than one way to skin a cat.”  , Time is money, Taj Mahal, On the Hill, NRA, Kleptomania, Kitty Hawk, cello, Catherine the Great, Balance of Power, Attila the Hun. I have to admit I might not be able to define every one of the 5000 on the list but I recognize 98 percent of them.  He also published a Cultural Literacy Dictionary that is a great source for all the Cultural Literacy I should know.

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