Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Revenge of the English Majors

I don't think the English language is robust or thorough enough for me to convey my hatred, despisement, and loathing of English majors.  They are first and foremost lazy people who decide to major in a language they're already fluent in by the age of 4.  They are intellectual inferiors who think studying a subject to the point of atomic levels of anal retentive detail is a legitimate endeavor.  And worst of all they are fascist tyrants who lord their technical, but impractical, knowledge of petty rules and laws of a "language" over the rest of us who use the language to live our lives, not make it our lives, because we have lives...unlike English majors.

I cannot overstate how inferior English majors are or how much I hate their loathesome and laughably inferior selves.

But they are getting their revenge.  And in a way most of you have no clue about.

Normally and in the past English majors got their revenge upon society by torturing young children in the public schools.  Completely unemployable and worthless elsewhere, America's English majors taught "English" to 100% conversant and fluent English speaking kids.  Having no real value they focused on technicalities like the difference between adverbs and adjectives (I, as a professional author, still don't know the difference) and would likely masturbate themselves as they awarded C's and D's to young 10 year old children who were smarter and superior to them but still couldn't identify "dangling participles" or other truly irrelevant and pointless shit nobody ever cared about.  Most of these teachers were females and spinsters because to be something of worth in society takes effort, and ergo it's no shock the majority of English teachers were fat, bloated, middled aged women because to be comely and attractive takes effort.  But still, they got their retaliatory pound of flesh by essentially abusing the children of those who managed to breed, grating their skin over the pointless minutiae of the rules of English.

It wasn't fair, but these (predominantly) women ended up paying for their laziness and sloth.  They were fat.  They were miserable.  No man loved them.  No man wanted them.  All students hated them.  And truly, what society appreciates a nag, constantly pointing out your technical incorrectnesses?  These women died lonely, alone, and unloved, and I cannot think of a better prison sentence than that.  But do not think just because the last baby boomer English teacher spinster may be breathing her last breath at an unvisited government funded nursing home that the scourge of English majors has left us.  They are coming back in force.  And in an area you, I, and everybody else never asked for.

Social media.

I was first tipped off to the return of the English majors when nearly every book I wrote was flagged as having "errors" when KDP (aka "Kindle") was merged with Createspace (AKA "Amazon").  Never mind some of these books have been published for over a decade.  Thoroughly and adequately gone over by my wonderful staff of editors and friends.  And never mind nobody who purchased the books had an actual complaint.  No, some nitwit got a burr in their saddle and decided to go over ALL of my books and point out, via constant e-mail reminder, that there was a missing word, a missing comma, an errant "the" in my books.  And so I had to waste precious amounts of my time going online and correcting these minor typos that nobody ever complained about except Amazon.

But then it dawned on me.  It wasn't Amazon per se.  It certainly wasn't my readers.  But the anal retentive details, the complaining and nagging had the distinct genetic mark of my most loathed and detested enemy - english teachers.  It hasn't been for 30 years I got so much lecturing, nagging, and sermoning that it dawned on me a horrific reality that Amazon is hiring English majors to go over every nook and cranny, every sentence and word, every punctuation mark and hyphen of my decade-and-change worth of literary work all to catch a mere fucking typo.  And this, sadly, is an English major's wet dream come true.

Because if every book I've ever written is now getting the 3rd degree, where will it end?  It's already well known that social media companies like Facebook and YouTube use "censors" to edit and audit nearly ALL social media posts (which I think is a pointless endeavor).  Amazon is obviously hiring people to go over every word I've published with a fine comb.  But my main concern is the caliber and type of people who they're employing and I'm afraid I have my answer. Because it isn't cool libertarian economics majors letting authors be to write what they want when they want.  It isn't engineering majors who don't care about the details as long as the logic, message, and purpose of the book is right.  It's the worst, most vile, most evil, and tyrannical group of anti-thinking people you could even put in charge of a Department of Censorship

English Majors.

And heaven help us.

Much as I appreciate Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and other social media giants being private companies, I also am aware of the damaging effects of monopolies.  And while I'm quite libertarian in allowing them to ban, prohibited or do pretty much whatever they want with their platforms, the concept of employing CENSORS is appalling and I think gives right to the government to break them up.  But when you make those censors NOT freedom-loving-libertarians who value disagreement over accord, who are usually prone to letting people say what they want to say, but put the veritable antithesis of "social-nazis" in the form of English Majors as your censors, then go straight to hell.  Because that is where your platform and company are going - straight to hell.

I would have liked to have seen nearly all English majors get what they deserve - unemployment.  Miserable unemployment while working at a cafe or bar.  Egomanics who are lazy on top of it deserve no better.  But now there is an entire industry that will gainfully employ English majors and that is the social media "Censor Industry."  The modern day STASI.  The modern day Gestapo.  You have a bunch of lazy ego maniacs who are now going to burden the rest of us productive adults, who are trying to convey concepts, ideas, thoughts, and visions, with their pointless technical knowledge of linguistic law.  Us real adults who are producing real thoughts and production now have to be burdened and bothered with our adjectives, adverbs, dangling participles and "wrong-think."  And what was once the truly great and truly open environment of the internet, self-publishing, authoring, and social media NOW we have to contend with a gestapo agent in our midst lest we have a minor typo in our book or speak something that is wrong-think and caused some precious snowflake to be "offended."

I hated my English teachers before in my K-12 education. They were truly evil women whose evil was only outdone by their worthlessness.  I'm glad most of them are dead and I'm glad most of them were never happy.  But you fucking English majoring nazis who are nothing more than modern day STASI are not only worthless, but evil on a whole new level.  At best you put your English-majoring-egos ahead of ideas and value nitpicking irrelevant typos in true genuises' works.  At worst you're anti-free speech nazis who comb over people's posts and comments on social media, eliminating them because you lack the intelligence to merely disagree with another person's opinion.  In the end though that's all you'll ever be - English majors.

Worthless, lazy, pieces of shit who could never write a book, never come up with an original idea, and can only get off by pointing out the irrelevant mistakes of others.
_______________
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20 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know who would know exactly how to use the English language to convey that hatred, despisement, and loathing?

An English major.

You're welcome.

P.S. And it's "despite," by the way.

liberranter said...

What's especially hilarious is that the vast majority of them are monoglots like 99.999 percent of the rest of America. One would think that the ability to process complex grammar and syntax rules in their native language would translate into them beings able to do that in other languages (which would actually make these people quasi-useful), but I've rarely ever found that to be the case.

liberranter said...

Having no real value they focused on technicalities like the difference between adverbs and adjectives (I, as a professional author, still don't know the difference)

An adjective describes a noun, an adverb describes a verb (e.g., "a simple man doing things simply").

If it makes you feel any better, a sizable number of today's English majors probably don't that difference either, given the abysmal quality of today's undergraduate humanities courses in most colleges.

A Texan said...

I understand your irritation, but I do think being able to write properly is important. Too many people are way too lazy to read and think about anything which is a big part of the problem we have today. I guess my annoyance was mainly with analyzing something with arcane points that had no practical application. I would say I got more out of speech class in many ways though I never won many awards in competition.

Shakespeare never really excited me and never mind the fact that his plays were for the proles of his day. I imagine with current degradation of academics Stephen King novels or John Grisham will be looked upon as great literature.

Roger Browne said...

Your post includes one split infinitive, where you wrote "to merely disagree". An English major who dislikes split infinitives would have to write "to disagree merely", which sounds plain stupid!

Post Alley Crackpot said...

"I don't think the English language is robust or thorough enough for me to convey my hatred, despisement, and loathing of English majors ..."

CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE PEDAGOGY OF BORES!

There was an English lit prof from Bristol
Who would shoot off his mouth like a pistol
Waxing ridiculous in his politics supine
Whilst dreading poets who make verses rhyme
Because we know he's some kind of fistula

:-)

heresolong said...

"And never mind nobody who purchased the books had an actual complaint."

LOL . Or maybe we did but listening to your podcast made it quite clear that complaining would earn us nothing but mockery and hatred.

Shannon_Entropy said...


"ego maniacs" is one word, not two.

And "Us real adults" should read "We real adults"

An adjective modifies nouns, as in "f*cking English majors". Adverbs modify verbs, as in "quickly kill all the f*cking English majors"

;^)

Anonymous said...

The study of language, in particular knowing the distinction between adverbs and adjectives ("well" vs. "good"), is actually pretty useful if you're doing NLP - computerized extraction of information from written texts. You criticize the usefulness of people who teach good style and grammar, but have worked with technical people who don't have good grammar, and who therefore can't articulate a concept as precisely as you need it? It's agonizing.

The whole point of grammar and style is not to teach what a language is, but how to use the language to communicate as clearly as possible. Certain rules are pretty stupid - no prepositions at the end of a sentence, for example. But I'd say most of it is pretty good, and people *do* appreciate it when you write well.

I really think you need to tone down your hostility towards humanities. I am a convert - I started out as a humanities guy and moved towards STEM. But one thing I notice among pure STEM people is that they're incredibly narrow-minded and opinionated. Their solution is the correct one, period, and there's no room for debate. They too easily believe themselves. At its best, humanities teaches a healthy skepticism. Maybe don't go into obscene amounts of debt, but we all should take the time out to read the great books.

Anonymous said...

The study of language, in particular knowing the distinction between adverbs and adjectives ("well" vs. "good"), is actually pretty useful if you're doing NLP - computerized extraction of information from written texts. You criticize the usefulness of people who teach good style and grammar, but have you worked with technical people who don't have good grammar, and who therefore can't articulate a concept as precisely as you need it? It's agonizing.

The whole point of grammar and style is not to teach what a language is, but how to use the language to communicate as clearly as possible. Certain rules are pretty stupid - no prepositions at the end of a sentence, for example. But I'd say most of it is pretty good, and people *do* appreciate it when you write well.

I really think you need to tone down your hostility towards humanities. I am a convert - I started out as a humanities guy and moved towards STEM. But one thing I notice among pure STEM people is that they're incredibly narrow-minded and opinionated. Their solution is the correct one, period, and there's no room for debate. They too easily believe themselves. At its best, humanities teaches a healthy skepticism. Maybe don't go into obscene amounts of debt, but we all should take the time out to read the great books.

Anonymous said...

Actually, it gets worse. I used to work with someone with a BA degree (from the U of Washington) with a degree in "English Composition". It’s for those who cannot meet the rigorous intellectual demands of the "English Literature" degree.

/Sarcasm off/

Dumber than a box of rocks & the comparison is offensive to rocks.

Mike said...

Give me a year or so and I'll be retiring from the Army, then you can pay me a modest sum and I'll handle all these English majors for you; I'll edit your books and blog posts to make sure you're compliant with the goose-stepping morons that secretly envy the Royal Spanish Academy, who have the backing of an actual monarchy to waste their lives deciding how a language should function (while nobody listens to them anyway).

Heck, while I'm at it, I could even translate all your stuff into Spanish for you and double your market access. You could call yourself "Capitan Culero" (Captain Asshole).

It would be a privilege and an honor to help you mock, ridicule, insult, and besmirch the forces of mediocrity in two languages.

Jimmy Dee said...

C'mon, Cappy....you're better than that. Adverbs modify verbs. (Get it?) Adjectives modify nouns. Though I'm at a loss for most of the technicalities as well, relying more on the basics: "does it SOUND right", is there subject-verb agreement with respect to tense, that sort of thing.

Apart from that, today's screed is well taken and almost universally accurate. The Censorship Industrial Complex is a terrifying new development. And picturing them in my mind's eye, I bet I get a pretty similar image as you. I mean....if you took all the purple and pink hair dye used by censors, it would be enough to fill how many Olympic-sized swimming pools? And if you took every censor's nose ring and laid them all end-to-end, they would reach from New York to......??

inthebriarpatch said...

My first stint in college was electrical engineering. Then I realized I hated it and joined the army.

After the army I was an English major for a semester. Seeing what a waste of time it was, I switched to Education.

I literally walked out in the middle of my first class because the teacher was an insufferable moron who spoke like she was addressing elementary aged kids.

So I tried Biology. Then I went to work for myself.

Every moment of my college time was a waste. Except for the times spent teaching eager nineteen year olds the joys of anal sex and threesomes.

Bill F.

Rule of Wrist said...

I will always remember my seventh grade language arts class. The female teacher was a real hardass ball buster, and would rip anyone for any minor infraction of rules or decorum in her class. Every class, you get there and she had a projector screen of a few sentences with intentional errors in it you had to correct. Get them all right and you got a star on board at the side of the class for the day.

Looking back it was great to drill the rules of english into your head extreme prejudice. But it was also seventh grade, and once that's done there was really VERY little point to the remaining 5 years of combined english classes that they require you to go through.


This was a great post Captain C, and I was picturing an endless marching column of spinster Grammar Nazis (with swastika style 'G' letter armbands) stretching off into the distance towards a giant Fortress with the Facebook logo displayed atop it, in all it's evil malevolence.

Raghav Hegde said...

"Having no real value they focused on technicalities like the difference between adverbs and adjectives (I, as a professional author, still don't know the difference)"

Me too. I say that as a college dropout and copywriter from India who works mainly for US/UK/Australia based small businesses and makes $20k+ every year from my writing (which is like 10 times the average Indian income?). Never known an English Major who makes money from writing. The internet is the greatest equalizer. And they want to take over that as well.

Shannon_Entropy said...

WOW this thread has generated a lot of discussion, Aaron, so here is your reward: a joke

Q. What gets wetter as it dries ??

A. A towel

The joke lies in the fact that the verb "to dry" can be either transitive or intransitive

The listener assumes "dries" is being used in the more common intransitive sense, when in fact it is being used transitively

Freakin' hilarious, huh ??

Albert said...

The English language takes a lot more mastering than the first four years of life, but you won't get that mastery from English teachers. You'll get it from reading good books and poetry from across the centuries of modern English. (The _good_ stuff, let me emphasize: The shit they force you to read in school might as well be hand-picked to make most people hate reading. And since the past is a foreign country, annotations explaining context are practically a necessity.)

Likewise, if someone wants to tell stories for a living, the worst possible thing to do is to take English or Literature classes, at least within the last half-century.

Anonymous said...

COM114 and the other first-semester gen-ed requirements in undergrad: All the engineers and scientists went to school to study engineering and science, but for ONE YEAR, the english majors got one last shot at being relevant to our lives by their power to sink our grade and extend our stay a semester. They twisted the knife and lorded over us for all it was worth. Even as an 18 year old, I picked up on the strange almost-desperation of these people.

COM114 was basically "can you present in English?" Of course they spent their time tormenting and marking down a few non-native speakers (who probably spoke more languages than there are English parts of speech.) Also tortuous grammar rules that we've never heard about before. Rewriting our presentations until they were incomprehensible corporatese. Marking us down for how many times we broke eye contact.

Somehow school became easier once we got to the real (for undergrad values of real) engineering subjects.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't matter how well you know any language if you don't have anything worthwhile to say. English majors are just dumb; at very least major in literature, or better yet, do something useful and productive with your life.