Never use this word nor the related and equally offensive preliterate.
- Literacy was one of the reasons that colonial powers felt themselves superior to peoples that they subjugated, and the word represents the inherit bias toward literacy within colonial powers. The word denigrates those who cannot read/write, suggesting that the natural and superior state is literacy. Moreover, to describe someone as illiterate is offensive to cultures wherein oral history and storytelling has been practiced to written history and storytelling for thousands of years.
- Children are not born readers/writers. Children should be free to choose whether they wish to read/write or not.