Advantages of Studying English Lit

7.20.17_Features_Cason Ragland_English degree_Flickr_George Redgrave

Flickr / George Redgrave

Cason Ragland
Staff Writer

When you choose a major you really wanna make sure it sounds good when you say it out loud. You can pretty much rule out any field that has more than one word. People will probably just think you’re trying to show off. The modest yet success driven pupil will choose English as their study, there’s no doubt in my mind. This route in academia can lead to a number of great advantages in the real world; the following are some of these advantages.

Using Words that You and Your Friends Pretend To Understand

This one’s a great little social technique. Words have meanings, of course, but is that why we use them? Some might say “yes” but is this another burden you’re willing to bare? The responsibility of knowing the definition of every word in your vocabulary? In the world we live in, I should think not. By letting go of rigid definitions, you can harness the elasticity and the viscosity of the English language. Here’s an example: “Don’t be too garish for a bawbee, if it’s goat gone down– the cupreous cufflinks.”

Books to Have

Books on a bookshelf not only provide a healthy sum of projectiles in case of a robbery, but they can also show a lot about who you are. This is a slippery slope, however. With all those anthologies of English literature mixed with some John Green novels from that one young adult lit class, some people might get the wrong idea. That’s why it’s important to shelve the books so that the spine is facing away from you. Peculiar to onlookers, of course, but just reassure them that you turn over every book you’ve read. “How do you know where they all are, though?” one might ask. At this point I usually just graze my hands over the books and look at the inquiring guest longingly yet, at the same time, with an air of intrigue myself. They usually leave about ten minuets later.

Texts, Emails, Google Searches

All those essays you wrote are going to give you real and practical writing skills for the world beyond higher education. You’ll be able search Google for anything at all. Your text messages and emails will be witty and meaningful. Remember when your coworker accidentally hit reply all on the listserve and sent everyone in the office his .mp4’s of McDonald’s commercials starring Michael Jordan? How embarrassing. You really don’t wanna end up like that person. Instead, you could be the guy who says: “Wow, what a slam dunk of an email… ROD!!!” (be sure to use the ellipses for full comedic/satiric effect).

The Sacred Knowledge of How and When to Use a Semicolon

On my resumé right now I have nearly a dozen semicolons. Any English major will tell you that in their first semester, they are taken down to the catacombs of their university. There they meet the head of the English department, who wears a robe made of scarlet silk, and tells the student all there is to know about semicolons.

With this knowledge, your writing will look better and that’s really what’s important. There’s really nothing quite like a semicolon. It’s subtle, yet distinct. It’s the red wine of punctuation. Pair it with a phrase like “suburban-gothic” or “neo-romantic” and I guarantee that someone might be impressed.

It Makes Reading Fun

Why read a book for it’s plot or story? Where’s the fun in that? A theatre of the mind? C’mon, that’s what movies are for. With an English degree you’ll read everything through a critical lens because that’s the way reading is intended to be done. Comparing and contrasting texts is the highest form of critical analysis. It’s important to keep note of images or characters in some books that are not unlike other images or characters from other books; this way your eight volume crossover fiction series of novels will remain as authentic as possible. Then you’ll be able to self-publish it on Amazon without having to worry about embarrassing yourself.

Categories: Features, Human Interest


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