From Ms M. E. Williams Sir: Your article ("A nation both richer and more insecure", 26 January) on the latest edition of Social Trends gave cause for raised eyebrows. After some 40 years in the world of reference books, I was startled to find that I am now included in the 24 per cent of the population with "literacy problems" on the basis that I have "difficulty interpreting a video recorder instruction manual".

Having just spent yet another weary hour with a new TV/VR trying to match print to performance, I am of the opinion that more relevant criteria could, and should, have been used for the judgement of literacy.

Incidentally, it would be to the benefit of the industry if it employed writers with communication skills rather than technicians in the preparation of its literature.

Yours faithfully, M. E. Williams Birmingham