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 The English Major - Rssential to Western Culture

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besho_nana

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PostSubject: The English Major - Rssential to Western Culture   Sat 05 Apr 2008, 19:03

The English Major - Rssential to Western Culture


The study of linguistics and literature is commonly joined under the head of “English,” a simplification and development of the 19th century term philology, or, “the love of words.” While literature is the very essence of recorded history, and the nature of language itself even older, the formal critical study of such is necessarily newer. The field of study is referred to as “English” because that is our language, from the American custom of combining the study of literature and grammar; also, much of the world’s written literature was written in our language. The Western tradition of recording one’s thoughts—fiction and nonfiction—has led to an examination of those thoughts critically; the comparison of the English language to other languages, and the development of it and others leads directly to the study of language as a whole. And, of course, one of the main ways to find how a language has developed in the past is to study the evidence: the literature of the time, so both fields come into harmony quite easily. The study of English is not a popular major, but it is a necessary one; the complex “intellectual, aesthetic, psychological, political, social, historical, moral, and religious” ideas and the variety of subjects studied may confuse and deter many, but it is important, as these ideas shape us as humans, and these values hold true regardless of background or circumstance (“English” 1). And most usable, perhaps, to the broad spectrum of students is the emphasis on writing in the study of English.

The ideas above are common to mankind, and, as they exist, need to be studied and better understood, and English “introduces students to new modes of thinking and constructive disruptions of commonplace literature” (“Pre-Professional” 1) In literature, whether fiction or nonfiction, such ideas are expressed. And these ideas need to be studied in depth, to find whether the ideas of the author still hold true, have no further meaning in our time, or need to be rediscovered as an answer to our society’s ills. But, regardless of relevance to the student’s or author’s society, works of literature have to be studied with a degree of sensitivity (“English 1”). An English student, much like an art student, must evaluate the works presented objectively, finding the well or poorly done, not simply the good or bad. The study of literature sharpens one’s ability to think critically, a requisite for modern life, where one is constantly bombarded with new and sometimes confusing ideas (“Pre-Professional” 1).

The English major also not only promotes but also enforces a study of writing, improving one’s style. English majors are looked down upon in classes outside their field if their papers are not of high quality—the trademark of the English major. An English student learns how to “write clear, persuasive, and graceful prose (“English” 2). Writing is necessary in practically all advanced fields, and moreso as advancement increases. The ability to write well showcases the student’s grasp of the language as well as his ability to conform to accepted modes of thought—essay-writing style. Even apart from academically beneficial means, the focus on writing teaches students how to express themselves in a specific way, and therefore, more fully in all areas of communication. “Properness” is all-important in writing—knowing one’s audience—and this forces the student to consider his audience in all modes of communication. Writing, as a craft, is highly valued in the Western world, and its reaches are never too far into other fields. The stress placed on it in the English major allows one to gain wide acceptance in whatever other interests he has.

The history of English as a language, and its structure, are integral to any serious study in the broad spectrum of English. The study of history is obviously tied directly to the study of its lingual history, and one gives insights on the other. A good knowledge of the history of the English language is beneficial in dealing with speakers of different dialects and in learning different languages, as one can see the connections to English in those languages or explain the oddities in an English dialect. The structure of English, its grammar and spelling, are tied directly, as well, into the writing and speaking of English, and therefore into all English-language communication. A poor grasp of spoken English grammar can inspire sighs in the eyes of the more educated, and, when written, can cause a serious loss of grade or prestige.

The structure and lingual history of English, the writing of clear proper English, and the study of literature, all combine to make the English major quite cosmopolitan. The benefits of the major stretch into nearly all areas of life, and allow for sophisticated communication between people. An English major can find work in many fields outside of the base pool of English teaching, writing, and related jobs (“Undergraduate” 1). The argumentative style taught in writing classes is useful for those pursuing law-related jobs, for example, and the principles of good writing set forth benefit almost any liberal arts-minded person. The ability to sound professional in a report is key in any “white collar” job. Factor in the major’s requirement of classes in a foreign language, and the English major presents itself as attractive on a résumé. In all, the English major is valuable in many ways, to many people, and is in fact essential in Western culture, in maintaining our written cultural history and heritage, and interpreting them for all.
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Mohamed Negm
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PostSubject: Re: The English Major - Rssential to Western Culture   Sat 05 Apr 2008, 22:31

yea it`s very nice topic concerning our major

thanks alot ya Bisho you're great
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mondy
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PostSubject: Re: The English Major - Rssential to Western Culture   Sat 05 Apr 2008, 22:59

thnxxxxxxx ya nevin for your great effort
keep up
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PostSubject: Re: The English Major - Rssential to Western Culture   Mon 07 Apr 2008, 02:06

thanks
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