Literary vs Literacy
Literary and literacy are two words in English language that confuse those who are non-natives or trying to master the language. This is because of the similarities in their spellings where there is only a single letter difference between literary and literacy. While literary is anything pertaining with literature, literacy is a concept that pertains to the ability to read and write. This article attempts to highlight the differences between literary and literacy to remove all doubts from the minds of readers confusing between these two concepts.
Anything or anyone connected with literature in any way is said to be literary. We talk about literary history where we deal with nature of books while we also talk about literary style of an author where the discussion is about the writing style. The word comes from literature that literally means something concerned with letters and written or published works. There are many forms of literature of which the major classification is between prose and poems.
Literary is a word that is also used to refer to a person who is well versed with forms of literature or is engaged with the profession by writing himself. Such a man is called a literary man and used in this manner where the word literary becomes an adjective. It is common for media to refer to people involved with literature being in a literary circle.
Literacy is a word that has significance in the context of developing countries where a large section of the population is not exposed to formal education and remains illiterate. A literate person is one having the ability to read and write at an accepted level of competency. In many countries, the mere ability to write one’s name and be able to read one’s name written in a language is considered as literacy. One is thus literate if he can just read and write his name in a language. At a broader level, literacy also reflects a person’s ability to think coherently in a given language.
What is the difference between Literary and Literacy?
• Literacy refers to the ability to read and write in a language where literary refers to a high level of competency in a language, particularly its literature.
• On a scale or a continuum, literacy lies at one extreme while literary lies at the other extreme.
• Thus, a literate person can understand the concepts at a very elementary level of competency whereas a literary person has a very broad level of understanding.
• A literary person has a critical mind and can compare the works of different authors whereas one cannot expect a person who is just literate to exhibit these qualities.
• While a literary person is always literate, the same cannot be said about a literate person.
• Literacy is a concept having significance in poor and developing countries where governments spend resources on making their population literate.
• Literacy can be a step to become literary.