literacy, metaphor, Literacy World Ocean, new literacies, transliteracy, numeracies, keywords, Wikipedia, bepress search tools, collocations


This multipurpose editorial explores and tries to count the many types of literacy that are referred to by name in Wikipedia and Numeracy. Wikipedia’s Category:Literacy page identifies 44 kinds of literacy that are the subject of articles, ranging from numeracy and graphicacy to braille literacy and diaspora literacy. In addition, searching Google finds more than 30 adjective-literacy or noun-literacy collocations, including quantitative literacy, adult literacy, and document literacy, that do not have Wikipedia pages of their own but are mentioned on other Wikipedia pages. The sum puts this modest literacy count in line with the more than 70 bodies of water called “seas” according to the International Hydrographic Organization and thus suggests Seventy Seas of Literacy as apt for a metaphoric Literacy World Ocean. As for Numeracy, full-text searching using the bepress search tools provided on the journal’s landing page identifies at least 15 types of literacies, ten of which were used as keywords. The search also finds six different adjective- or noun-numeracy collocations in Numeracy, including adult numeracy, health numeracy, and situated numeracy, disproportionately used by international authors. The facility of making numeracy collocations prompts the notion of a metaphoric Sea of Numeracy as a candidate to be one of Seven Seas of Literacy. Extending the metaphor, the numeracy collocations would be fertile, life-sustaining estuaries along the coast of the numeracy sea, where seawater from numeracy mixes with freshwater inflow from the disciplinary or cultural contexts identified by the modifier in the collocation.

In addition to submitting this metaphoric view of literacies and numeracies, this editorial aims to familiarize Numeracy readers with our search tools and to make a case for consideration and care in regard to keywords. Also, we call attention to some changes in the makeup of the managing editors, the rollout of some new types of papers (“From Book Authors” and “Roots and Seeds”), and a new theme collection on social justice.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License