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#41 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 12:57 PM

Cadians, at least, are taught how to read and write- but admittedly, they're taught how to fire and field-strip a lasgun first. Literacy is still taught in the Guard (since being able to read is extremely helpful when it comes to recognizing signs and texted orders) but it's considered secondary to being able to shoot things.


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"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#42 Cymbel

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 03:27 PM

And they do have the Uplifting Primer (one of my favorite pieces of 40k fluff btw), while some regiments may not learn to read (Catachans?)



#43 Elior

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 03:43 PM

And they do have the Uplifting Primer (one of my favorite pieces of 40k fluff btw), while some regiments may not learn to read (Catachans?)

 

And probably just about all feral worlders.



#44 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 07:35 PM

I think it's dumb how Catachans are portrayed as illiterate. Sgt. Harker has "PAYBACK" engraved on his heavy bolter. Why would he do such a thing if he can't read?


"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#45 Unusualsuspect

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:34 PM

I think it's dumb how Catachans are portrayed as illiterate. Sgt. Harker has "PAYBACK" engraved on his heavy bolter. Why would he do such a thing if he can't read?

 

The same reason a 20 something year old college kid might consider getting Kanji or other asian calligraphy, even if completely lacking knowledge of the character's meaning.

 

Because it is supposed to look cool among your peers ("Awesome tat!  What does it mean?" "Courage!  And Dragon!  And according to some giggling asian guy, Whale ******."  "OMG SO COOL.") and hopefully intimidate or impress (both if you're lucky) your more literate enemies or rivals.

 

 

That said, it is perfectly reasonable for most people growing up on a death world to put book learnin' as, well... secondary.  Catachan's homeworld seems like it would fit that bill.  That isn't going to stop anyone dedicated enough from learning, but given a lack of societal need for it... why would most bother?

 

Training time is thrones, and even the Emperor's pockets aren't limitless.  Are you going to suggest to the Catachans that they cut back on survival or weapons training to make sure they can all read The Adventures of Pooh Bear in between bouts of battle?


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#46 Cymbel

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:08 PM

Exactly, the average feral worlder in this respect doesn't have the time to focus on that, while a Hive Worlder has little choice with the urban environment and a Shrine Worlder reads holy scripture (so may know a little high gothic), Nobles are schooled in both.

 

So while there are feral worlders who read, they are more an exception or brought to learn it because of their role.



#47 Boss Gitsmasha

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 10:56 PM

It might be useful for reading, say, enemy intelligence documents they might come across, or perhaps texted orders transmitted to them. It'd be inconvenient and embarrassing for the Commissar to have to read their own orders to them, especially since Commissars have a startlingly short life expectancy when assigned to Catachan regiments.

 

Catachan isn't even a feral world, it's a death world. While the two often overlap, they are separate classifications.


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"Oomans are pink an' soft, not tough an' green like da Boyz. Dey'z all da same size too, so dey'z always arguin' about who's in charge, 'cos dere's no way o' tellin' c'ept fer badges an' ooniforms an' fings. When one o' dem wants ta lord it over da uvvers, 'e says 'I'm very speshul so'z you gotta worship me', or 'I know summink wot you lot don't know, so yer better lissen good'. Da funny fing is, 'arf of 'em believe it an' da uvver 'arf don't, so 'e has ta hit 'em all anyway or run fer it. Wot a lot o' mukkin' about if yer asks me. An' while dey'z all arguin' wiv each uvver over who's da boss, da Orks can clobber da lot."


#48 bogi_khaosa

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 10:51 AM

There are various levels of illiterate.

 

Somebody knows what the symbols "PAYBACK" mean because he's been told what they mean. For the same reason, anyone is going to recognize particular symbols that he sees repeatedly and relate them to something else. Say, I know that the sign with the symbols "BAR" means a place where I can get beer. Any illiterate in a modern society in our world can probably spell his name simply because he's seen it all the time.

 

That doesn't mean that he knows what sounds B, A, and R are connected to (or that they are connected to sounds at all), what these weird dots (. , " ' ?) mean, that thefact that the symbols run from left to right is important, etc.

 

So I have always assumed that all player characters, even without Literacy, can do this kind of thing. When Guardsman Bob gets an order to "go to the armoury," he doesn't flounder trying to find it because he's seen "ARMOURY" before (and has probably had it drilled into him what it means). (Either that, or in a truly 100% illiterate area, it would be indicated by a picture of guns instead of a word a la medieval taverns and inns.)

 

Reading a book is a bit beyond that level though.

 

Anyway in most societies throughout history, and by all appearances for most societies in 40K, reading has been/is a pretty much useless skill for most people. Especially in 40K where access to knowledge is strictly controlled.

 

PS the hive world urban environment does not equate to the written word being used everywhere, especially if people never leave their neighborhoods. Illiteracy is not that rare in modern inner cities.

 

EDIT: in  a society with the Imperium's attitude, you absolutely do not want grunts reading enemy intelligence documents. :) Orders would be conveyed in the exact same way that they have been in militaries throughout human history -- verbally. Which is a lot easier if you have vid screens actually. Literacy is LESS important in such a setting. (And you can't read xenos intelligence documents at all.)


Edited by bogi_khaosa, 29 January 2014 - 11:01 AM.

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#49 Librarian

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 10:32 PM

Its also possible that some feral worlders can infact read they just cant read low gothic or really any language used regularly by the guard, they may understand there homeworlds regional language but outside that one planet its largely useless.


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