If you’re reading this right now, I’d like to assume that, well, you like to read, but more importantly, you enjoy English to some extent. As a language, a subject, a lifestyle, a muffin, whichever.
Some of us here at New Plains are English majors, and some of us, myself included, are Creative Writing Majors. All of us are (probably) tired of hearing the same things.
You’ve probably read lists like this at many other places, Buzzfeed included, but it only makes sense that we reassure you that yes, we are never happy when people say any of this to us.
1. So what do you want to do with that?
There are few questions that make me dislike a person so quickly. This happens to be one of them. What do I want to do with my degree, you ask? Whatever I want.
2. So you want to teach?
Gag me. Now, don’t get me wrong. Some of us do want to teach, but automatically asking this question makes the assumption that the only thing that anyone with an English degree can do is teach. Do you know how many successful people got a B.A. in English? You can see some of them here and here and here.
3. Will you edit my paper?
Will you pay me? I’ve got about five of my own that I still need to finish and edit for logical holes, but you just want me to make sure you used the right form of your/you’re.
4. Your degree must be so easy.
I mean if you call reading hundreds of pages of literature and being expected to intelligently discuss all of it, including why character A offered character B water in a green glass instead of a blue one in a ten page research paper easy due in one week, then yes, it’s easy.
5. You’re like a walking dictionary.
So what you’re saying is I know how to spell. Got it. Thank you.
6. *Insert judgmental silence here* Oh, cool. (Or some variation of this.)
This is a judgment free zone. Take your close-mindedness elsewhere. Please and thank you.
7. I don’t know how you can read so much. It’s so boring.
Reading is the most exciting thing that you can do, aside from travel and buy more books. Of course, we’re not going to enjoy everything that we ever have to pick up for school, but that’s the beauty of it. There’s something for everyone. You would know if you actually picked up a book.
This one is more for the Creative Writing major:
8. Yeah, I’ve written a couple of books. It’s easy.
Except they’re short and unedited and you haven’t touched them since grade school. Oddly enough, I hear this all the time. Writing anything of substance is far from easy and takes rewriting and editing and more rewriting and more editing. But yes, please, tell me more about your writing prowess.
I may seem a bit snarky, but please understand, most English majors have heard these things time and time again and have had to defend our choices time and time again. For those of you that don’t like English, we understand. It’s difficult, there’s a lot of weird rules, and there is absolutely no reason why any of those symbols have to mean anything more than the obvious.
But we’ve chosen to master the things that you don’t want to. Someone has to. We just, for the most part, happen to enjoy it.