Ordnance Survey is a British mapmaking company, but they’re interested in a lot of different things, including thinking about and talking about skills that seem to be in danger of dying out in the modern world.
Of course knowing how to read a map has become less important in the days of GPS navigation on our phones, but there are a lot of skills that we’re in danger of losing, according to a survey the group conducted, and knitting is one of them. As is knowing how to darn socks, a skill that should go hand in hand with knitting (at least among sock knitters).
The group came up with a list of 20 endangered skills, based on a survey of 2,000 Britons. The full list is:
1. Reading a map
2. Using a compass
3. Tie a specific knot
4. Darn socks
5. Looking something up in a book using an index rather than ‘Googling it’
6. Correct letter writing technique
7. Understanding pounds and ounces
8. Knowing your spelling and grammar
9. Converting pounds and ounces to grams and kilograms
10. Starting a fire from nothing
12. Understanding feet and inches
14. Recall a friend or relative’s phone number from memory
15. Recall a partner’s phone number from memory
16. Identifying trees, insects, flowers etc
17. Touch typing
18. Baking bread from scratch
19. Taking up trousers
20. Wiring a plug
I can maybe do 12 of these; what about you?
I don’t really think we’re in danger of losing knitting, since so many people do it and are eager to teach the next generation, but some of these could certainly be on the way out. What do you think?
(Hat tip to the Grimsby Telegraph, which reported on the survey.)