post-literate youths


Senior Member
'Screenagers', as you might have guessed, are those post-literate streetwise youths, wired for technology from the moment of their birth and brought up in the digital age - worlds away from the television and newspapers of the Outernet.

Source: A tapescript from Listening & Speaking Skills by Virginia Evans and Sally Scott. The people in the listening test talk about "the buzzwords and techno-babble of the future" as recorded in the book Guinness Amazing Future.

I wonder what 'post-literate' means. The WR dictionary defines 'literate' as 'able to read and write' and explains that the prefix 'post-' << comes from Latin, where it has the meaning "after (in time), following (some event);
"behind, at the rear or end of'' :
post- + industrial → postindustrial (= after the industrial age) ..." >>
Does 'post-literate' mean 'after the age of being able to read and write'?

Thank you.
Last edited:
  • velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Post-literate youths": Youths who have grown up in a post-literate society.
    Postliterate society - Wikipedia
    A postliterate society is different from a pre-literate one, as the latter has not yet created writing and communicates orally (oral literature and oral history, aided by art, dance, and singing), and the former has replaced the written word with recorded sounds (CDs, audiobooks), broadcast spoken word and music (radio), pictures (JPEG) and moving images (television, film, MPG, streaming video, video games, virtual reality).


    Senior Member
    Thank you, velisarius. :) That means the post-literate youths are able to communicate without written words, because they don't find them necessary any more. I guess.
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