10 Ways to Know You’re an English Major

1. You use those golden words you picked up from class, like juxtapose and dichotomy, way too frequently in everyday conversations, like a phone call with your mother who’s clearly not impressed.

2. You talk about famous writers like you know them personally, the way Matt Damon’s character in Good Will Hunting thinks his soul mates are Shakespeare, Pope and Locke.

3. You love a good bookstore, but not as much as a really good used bookstore.  You shamelessly spend too many hours at the Book Barn looking for old editions of books you’ve already read.  For example, I once bought a copy of Dubliners because it contained an Irish pound for a bookmark. I’d already purchased a copy of Dubliners the previous semester for Irish Lit.

4. The only reason you bother with certain social gatherings is for life experience you can write about in your novel.

5. You keep a running mental tally of the harmless grammatical mistakes made by others, and silently think less of them as a result.

6. You just love when the daily crossword puzzle is full of literary clues.

7. You have way too many books.  Your friends think it’s sad.  See Amanda’s post for further description.

8. You make really bad literary jokes in conversations, where you find yourself slipping in the phrase “Well, as Hemingway would say…”  In general, you talk about Hemingway way too much.  See number 2.

9. You honestly love Paradise Lost, not just because you had to read it for class.  You hold the fact that you’ve read it over people’s heads.  You spend a lot of time convincing these people your major isn’t useless.

10. Deep down, you want to stand on your desk and shout, “O Captain! My Captain!”


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