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Mimishu1995's avatar

Is it true that reading too many comics does harm to the reading and writing skill?

Asked by Mimishu1995 (14756points) January 8th, 2014

I remember reading about a survey about the effect of comics on people conducted in Japan a long time ago in a teen’s magazine (sorry for not being able to find the source anymore). The result of the survey showed that the more comics someone read, the less able they were to read and write a moderately complex sentence properly. The conclusion was that comics could hamper greatly to the reading and writing skill since they contained too short, too simple and too grammatically incorrect sentences.

And recently my friend told me about her family: she had a sister who, according to her, “proceeds a natural talent for literature”. As a result her mother designed a special “training program” for her. The sister was forbidden to read any comics and only classic books were allowed instead. My friend totally agreed with her mother, saying that comics would do harm to her writing skill as well as her imagination. I argued that when I was at the sister’s age, half of what I read were comics, still my writing skill was unaffected and my imagination improved with time. She just said plainly: “It’s because you are a born writer, that’s all”.

I never consider myself having any talent, and I feel odd. My life experience doesn’t match with the result of the above-mentioned study and anyone’s opinion about comics. Is it true that comics does harm to the reading and writing skill? What do you think?

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16 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Your prolly rite, but I dunno. I can reed and rite OK. No wait. What was that you asked? ~

WestRiverrat's avatar

As long as they are not the only thing you read I see no problem with them.

In fact when I was in school they handed out comic book versions of many of the classic best sellers as a way to get us kids interested in reading the actual book.

That was how I was introduced to Arthur Conan Doyle, Mark Twain and Agatha Christie just to name a few.

Berserker's avatar

For comic books to affect one’s ability to properly read and write, especially if said person already has an able grasp of reading and writing, it would have to be a really crazy obsession which they indulge in like, 10 hours a day for a buncha years.

Not saying there isn’t truth to it, but seems it would take a LOT for comics to alter one’s brain this way.
Zing! Krackow! Pazzaf! WINGO, let’s build a puttin’ green, cmon lezgaw!

SomeoneElse's avatar

Personally I think that anything one reads adds to reading and writing skills
Surely to write/produce comics takes skills – I don’t possess them – and adds to ones knowledge, ability and imagination.

I’d prefer to shove my nose into the trough of words and sub-consciously learn.

KNOWITALL's avatar

I love to read everything & I agree that any reading is good. Comic obsession in Japan is normal but mix in real books.

mattbrowne's avatar

Not if you read plenty of real books too.

Vincentt's avatar

That survey sounds like you might easily mix up correlation and causation, or cause and effect, when reading it.

That people who read more comics have more trouble reading and writing complex sentences does not mean that it is necessarily true that comics are the cause of that. For example, this might be explained like this: people who have trouble reading complex sentences are more inclined to read comics when they contain fewer of those sentences. Thus, when your sample contains people who read comics, it is more likely that they have more difficulty reading complex sentences.

gailcalled's avatar

I read everything; comic books, the dictionary, the backs of cereal boxes, the daily comics in the newspapers, Chinese fortune cookie adages, every volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica (In bed with. a flash light after hours) and speak and write pretty well.

As far as the mother of your friend’s sister is concerned. “_proceeds_ a natural talent for literature,” makes no sense whatsoever.” She may mean ”possesses a natural talent.”

The comics that survive are grammatically correct but use very short sentences or sentence fragments. And I agree that the combination of interesting drawing and a captivating or funny story line can trigger your imagination.

Reading and writing skills (iuse the plural, please.)

Juels's avatar

When reading comics, one probably isn’t absorbing proper grammar and vocabulary skills. You stated that you spent half of your reading time with comics. Was the other half with materials that provided a better example? This could be why you didn’t have issues like your friend’s sister.

zenvelo's avatar

This is just a guess based on wild conjecture: it may be more true in Japan, where comics are written in distinctly different fashion from classical literature, as opposed to American comics and American literature.

ibstubro's avatar

A teen magazine could hardly be cited as a valid reference, even if you could give the exact article.

I would more guess that young adults that are “less able… to read and write a moderately complex sentence properly” would be more and more drawn to comics as a form of entertainment. Because of some slight mental cognitive balance they may not be ‘readers’. I’ve always been a reader, but very poor in math—I’ve met many just the opposite. We’re not all wired the same and neither “War and Peace” nor advanced Trig are necessary to round out every individual’s life.

I’m curious about the phrase, “proceeds a natural talent for literature”
it’s making me crazy.

DWW25921's avatar

First let me just say that you know a lot of very big words and I’m somewhat impressed. Secondly, I think people are different and lumping everyone into the same category doesn’t make sense. Thirdly, unless they’re politicians because they’re all owned by the same corporations. Lastly, I think my answer vaguely makes sense but you have to use your imagination a little. I don’t really know what’s going on…

talljasperman's avatar

I tried being a superhero and broke my wrist…. My handwriting score for the month was 0% and I fell behind in my school work and then I found out that their isn’t a punishment for not doing work and I coasted thru junior high. So in a round about way reading comics is harmful.

Mimishu1995's avatar

@ibstubro @gailcalled Sorry. I mean possesses. “Possess” and “Proceed” are the two words which I always seem to get confused.

gailcalled's avatar

@Mimishu1995: Given that English is your second language, you write with amazing accuracy. There are occasional lapses in diction and idiom, but, you are entitled.

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