I hate to say it, but I have noticed that a lot of folks from that part of rural Indiana around Delphi cannot spell, punctuate or use grammar to save their lives. Many can barely write a proper English paragraph.
Indiana has a low rate of college graduation, something like 11%. That’s very much on the low side for the US.
It’s not much that the people there are dumb. They’re probably around as smart as anywhere. But I have been told that most people in Indiana who are college material either leave the state for university or go to university in Indiana and then leave the state for work. So what is happening is that plenty of bright people are being born and brought up in the state, but most of them are taking off around college age for school and later for work.
So what’s left is a lot of people with a high school education who can’t write English very well.
In their defense, I would say that if you live in a town like that, you simply do not need a university degree, and you sadly you don’t even need to be able to write a proper English paragraph. The jobs that are available there mostly don’t care how well you write and a degree is not needed for most of the jobs. No one cares if you can’t write proper English, so there is no social penalty for not writing well. Humans are basically lazy. If there’s no overriding reason to learn something, they usually don’t bother. Instead humans are adaptive. They learn whatever they need to learn to do whatever they need to do. Anything more is seen as superfluous and a waste of time. Some people like me learn things as a near-sensual activity, but I’m not a normal or typical person and most folks don’t have that same attitude towards learning new things.
They are being raised in working class communities where the emphasis is just to graduate high school and go get yourself a job. There’s no premium or status given to intelligence, education, erudition or knowledge.
So this tends to discourage people from self-educating themselves, which believe it or not, even people like me have done a lot of.
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