6 Misconceptions Everyone Has About English Majors

6 Misconceptions Everyone Has About English Majors

No, we are not all wearing glasses with our heads buried in books.
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English majors are many things—writers, people swamped with books, sometimes grammar nerds—but more importantly are much different than most people perceive us to be. We are not all automatically bookworms, nor are we all “grammar nazis" (many of us actually despise them, like you do). We may read and write quite extensively, but many of us have passions on interests completely outside the writing field, such as I, who enjoys broadening my profound interest in science and computers. I am writing this because I have seen many people judge English majors to be literature-obsessed bookworms, living very introverted lives writing on our typewriters–just as much as I feel inclined to represent a certain overture to a future career.

1. I am not a Shakespeare Geek

English majors dread whenever they get asked something regarding Shakespeare after declaring that I'm an English major, whether it’s which book they like best, what they think of his writing, or some bizarre question about him as if majoring in English is synonymous to majoring in Shakespeare. We recognize his importance, but we wouldn't all say that we're the biggest Shakespeare geek. While I do enjoy the uniqueness of his writing, Shakespeare’s work is quite irrelevant to what I am trying to master—writing with modern day grammar, editing, and researching--and I can only fixate so much on old English. Although it's interesting to learn how much our language has changed, reading Shakespeare, or any other old-age books for that matter, my English degree does not indicate an unlimited knowledge of Shakespeare.



2. English Major Does Not Mean Master of the Dictionary

As English majors, we naturally have a slightly more extensive range of vocabulary. However, this does not mean we know every single word in the dictionary, especially the most bizarre and uncommon words such as “Impignorate,” “alcazar,” or “umbriferous,” (all of which do exist), and all of which my own computer did not recognize, nor will they ever need to be in my vocabulary or the vernacular. A 60-year-old English Professor might offer a vast knowledge of such vocabulary, but certainly not us undergraduates. English majors strive to learn as much vocabulary as they can, and they can only absorb so many new words--many of which are nearly redundant to use in even research essays--so please, do not expect us to be a talking dictionary.

3. No, I am not learning a language I already know

Most English majors have heard at least a few strange responses about their major, and how some people think of it as being an extension to a language they already speak, as if it's somehow a foreign language. Although we all speak and know English, there's a lot more to grammar and writing style than we think we know in high school. In college, I have learned facts about the history of English that I never learned throughout school and which changed my view of English; I have learned how to restructure unfathomable sentences; I now understand how complex writing can be; and I have also been taught how to maximize your writing style. English majors are taking what they already know, and really expanding on it in every way they can.

4. I am not the "grammar police" either

Some people take “I’m an English major,” as ‘oh no, I have to impress them with perfect grammar,’ or 'they're probably going to think my writing is awful.' I have had some people jokingly apologize for making a grammatical error in their speech, do so on purpose, using advanced vocabulary incorrectly, or even making up a word. I am not going to dictate your every word; I do need a break from all the editing I already have to do. Although my brain does feel almost wired to like proper grammar and be disturbed by a horribly-written sentence, I will not freak out at a mere online message or expect everyone to be able to write as accurate as an English major.

5. Sorry, I cannot write your essays for you

Any English major will get the occasional (in a joking manner) “oh you should write my essay for me,” and truthfully, even if students were actually allowed to do that without getting in trouble, we have far too much writing of our own to do. Hence, this imaginary suggestion gets a bit tiring, mostly because it’s never a possibility. If they are serious, I don’t fancy the idea of doing work that will be credited to someone else, nor am I interested in getting in trouble and risking my college career.

On the other hand, it doesn’t always ‘suck,’ to have to write as many essays as I do, knowing how to write well. Telling me that it must ‘suck,’ to do that much writing doesn’t help the situation, but I really don’t mind the practice. After all, I am an English major because of my passion for writing.


6. It is absolutely not a boring major

People think of English as just perfecting your grammar, but I can assure you it is far more than that. Yes, we are taught to master grammar, but that is only one of many, many skills we learn. We are also taught how to decipher all kinds of writing, reading in between the lines, and how to interpret difficult text in an easier way. We learn to communicate the best way we can, whether by email, documentation, or interpreting information, and we learn how to perfect emails, resumes, proposals, and speeches.

Being an English major has taught me so much about communicating and further understanding even the most complex writing, and I've come to realize that studying English will help me way more in life than just with a job. We might have more reading than the usual extensive load all majors have, we might have to learn some boring grammar, and we might have a harder career path, but we work hard to achieve our dreams and make it as writers.

This article serves as a joke; none of the above truly annoy me, they are simply things I notice upon saying that I am an English major.

Cover Image Credit: pexels.com

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I'd Rather Be Single Than Settle – Here Is Why Being Picky Is Okay

They're on their best behavior when you're dating.
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Dating nowadays described in one word: annoying.

What's even more annoying? when people tell you that you're being too "picky" when it comes to dating. Yes, from an outside perspective sometimes that's exactly what it looks like; however, when looking at it from my perspective it all makes sense.

I've heard it all:

"He was cute, why didn't you like him?"

"You didn't even give him a chance!"

"You pay too much attention to the little things!"

What people don't understand is that it's OKAY to be picky when it comes to guys. For some reason, girls in college freak out and think they're supposed to have a boyfriend by now, be engaged by the time they graduate, etc. It's all a little ridiculous.

However, I refuse to put myself on a time table such as this due to the fact that these girls who feel this way are left with no choice but to overlook the things in guys that they shouldn't be overlooking, they're settling and this is something that I refuse to do.

So this leaves the big question: What am I waiting for?

Well, I'm waiting for a guy who...

1. Wants to know my friends.

Blessed doesn't even begin to describe how lucky I am to have the friends that I do.

I want a guy who can hang out with my friends. If a guy makes an effort to impress your friends then that says a lot about him and how he feels about you. This not only shows that he cares about you but he cares about the people in your life as well.

Someone should be happy to see you happy and your friends contribute to that happiness, therefore, they should be nothing more than supportive and caring towards you and your friendships.

2. Actually, cares to get to know me.

Although this is a very broad statement, this is the most important one. A guy should want to know all about you. He should want to know your favorite movie, favorite ice cream flavor, favorite Netflix series, etc. Often, (the guys I get stuck on dates with) love to talk about themselves: they would rather tell you about what workout they did yesterday, what their job is, and what they like to do rather than get to know you.

This is something easy to spot on the first date, so although they may be "cute," you should probably drop them if you leave your date and can recite everything about their life since the day they were born, yet they didn't catch what your last name was.

3. How they talk about other women.

It does not matter who they're talking about, if they call their ex-girlfriend crazy we all know she probably isn't and if she is it's probably their fault.

If they talk bad about their mom, let's be honest, if they're disrespecting their mother they're not going to respect you either. If they mention a girl's physical appearances when describing them. For example, "yeah, I think our waitress is that blonde chick with the big boobs"

Well if that doesn't hint they're a complete f* boy then I don't know what else to tell you. And most importantly calling other women "bitches" that's just disrespectful.

Needless to say, if his conversations are similar to ones you'd hear in a frat house, ditch him.

4. Phone etiquette.

If he can't put his phone down long enough to take you to dinner then he doesn't deserve for you to be sitting across from him.

If a guy is serious about you he's going to give you his undivided attention and he's going to do whatever it takes to impress you and checking Snapchat on a date is not impressive. Also, notice if his phone is facedown, then there's most likely a reason for it.

He doesn't trust who or what could pop up on there and he clearly doesn't want you seeing. Although I'm not particularly interested in what's popping up on their phones, putting them face down says more about the guy than you think it does.

To reiterate, it's okay to be picky ladies, you're young, there's no rush.

Remember these tips next time you're on a date or seeing someone, and keep in mind: they're on their best behavior when you're dating. Then ask yourself, what will they be like when they're comfortable? Years down the road? Is this what I really want? If you ask yourself these questions you might be down the same road I have stumbled upon, being too picky.. and that's better than settling.

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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