Today, literacy has become near universal with the global literacy rate around 85 percent. Even the minority who remain illiterate are likely to be aware of the existence of written language (and their exclusion from its benefits). Mass literacy is a relatively recent phenomenon in the history of humanity and dates from the 19th century, with literacy rates steadily increasing over the past 200 years. Before then, literacy was restricted to a tiny elite in those societies where literacy existed and there were many societies that were not familiar with written language at all.
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- 200401 applied linguistics and educational linguistics
- 200405 language in culture and society (sociolinguistics)