03 December 2006

Doing my de-uty as a Humanities major

I started my college career as an English major and eventually became a Humanities major. I like to describe "Humanities" as the study of the things that we assume separate human beings from other animals - literature, politics, art, religion, math, languages, etc. In its best sense, it's the true liberal arts education. More prosaically, "Humanities" is probably the upgraded name for "General Studies." Or possibly even "Undeclared."

One result of my background is that I hold organizations like the Modern Language Association in particular regard. I cannot prove this, but I believe that members of the MLA do not say "myself" when "me" would be more appropriate, nor do they use "impact" as a verb, nor do they use "unique" as anything but an absolute. I'm also sure that many MLA members would be happy to get into a lively debate about the dynamic nature of living languages (Did you know, for instance, that "gossip" used not to be a verb? Gossip was a noun, specifically a person who .... well, gossiped. Things change.), but they understand and know how to apply the rules that they consider obsolete.

David, via 11d, found a meme from Scott, who is, in David's words, hoping to crash his own computer. Scott, on the other hand, insists that he is collecting data for a paper for an MLA conference. Please help Scott.

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