stugraves
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Hi there! I'm planning on starting an Access to HE course in September of this year. From there i then plan to attend Uni next year.

I know i want to to do something English based but not entirely sure what. I've read a lot of things over forums and various places on the internet and there seems to be a real big argument over which is better, English Lang or English Lit.

To be totally honest before anyone says it, i don't give a damn about Lit being the more "respected" form of English or whatever *******s people say about Lit. I'd just like to know the differences between the two studies, and what the two are all about and how people have found them.

Furthermore i am very interested in creative writing, sociology, and also maybe media as an add on to my degree or somewhere to go after Uni. If anyone could add on whether Lit or Lang would be better for those, that'd be great!

Thank you!
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Hiya!

Disclaimer: I don't do either at university, but I do both Lit and Lang at A Level, so I'll try and help with what little experience I've got!

English Literature: many people say this is a harder A Level compared to Lang. This may be true for some, but not true for others, it's a preference thing. Lit is a lot more intense than Lang; last year we had to read 4 pieces of literature for the exam, but next year there's an extra 4 books on top of the first 4, plus coursework - ahh! The exams are focused on a question surrounding the whole text, and I found it quite constricting. Doing Lit at A Level, and then at university, means you'll be spending your time looking very in depth at a particular writer, a small section of a genre, or a time period. It's true that Lit is far more prestigious than Lang, but that's mainly because Linguistics is a young and emerging field compared to the study of literature.
The kinds of things we do in Lit lessons: read the set texts (Measure for Measure by Shakespeare, for example), pick out specific quotations ("blood, thou art blood"), analyse those quotations ('blood could be to do with violence, or sex, or being human/mortal, or about lineage... but mainly about sex'), look at the time period and the influences at the time ('Shakespeare chose to represent sexual repression through the character of Angelo because, at the time, the Puritannical movement was garnering support and they emphasised ideas of virtue through chastity'), reading critical analyses of said text ('Coleridge says the comedy in the play is "horrible"'), compare the text to other texts at the same time ('Webster writes about a similar situation in The Duchess of Malfi showing the corruption of religion and dangers of repression through the two Aragonian brothers...') and, of course, essay writing.

English Language: lots of people ask me: "what's the point in doing both Lit and Lang? Aren't they both the same thing?" Ho-boy. What a question. Lang is much more about a deeper analysis of the words we say and why we say them, and the effect of those words. You'd enjoy Lang if you think more critically and like being exposed to a variety of English texts with all kinds of genres and modes: one day you could be doing a critical analysis of the opening section of DH Lawrence novel, the next you could be analysing Dave Cameron's stepping down speech, the next picking out what makes a televised charity appeal effective (I've done all 3 of those this year!).
What we do in Lang lessons: analyse texts such as - political speeches, novels throughout time, advertisements, leaflets and brochures, travel guides and travel writing, websites, poems etc. For coursework, we're doing an independent investigation into a part of language we're interested in; I'm looking at whether gender or emotion affects language use, my friend is looking at the way kids speak, another is looking at the history of the English language. We also do a piece of creative writing, which you've said you'd enjoy! At university level, Lang gets more intense and delves deeper into questions like: how do kids acquire language? where did the English language come from? how does media affect language (eg Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr)? what are dialects and what do they do?

From what you've said, Lang definitely seems like the best fit for you. Creative writing comes under the Lang umbrella (at least, at A Level!), and one part of Lang is sociolinguistics (sociology mixed with language stuff). Media plays a large role in discussions of language too, and if you came out of uni having written a dissertation on the effects of Tumblr on punctuation (which is a really interesting topic!), you'd be set for a career in Marketing or Media as they would highly value your critical understanding of the English language and the ways you can manipulate and use it.

I'm sorry this reply is so long, but I thought if I could help, I might as well give you all the details I've got! Feel free to message me for more info
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If you prefer creative writing then go for Language. I do both at A Level but a lot of Literature involves analysis as opposed to creative writing and Language focuses on techniques and applying it to writing. With language also, you learn about how society uses language differently and how the media uses language to persuade it's audience etc.
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(Original post by blue2337)
Hiya!

Disclaimer: I don't do either at university, but I do both Lit and Lang at A Level, so I'll try and help with what little experience I've got!

English Literature: many people say this is a harder A Level compared to Lang. This may be true for some, but not true for others, it's a preference thing. Lit is a lot more intense than Lang; last year we had to read 4 pieces of literature for the exam, but next year there's an extra 4 books on top of the first 4, plus coursework - ahh! The exams are focused on a question surrounding the whole text, and I found it quite constricting. Doing Lit at A Level, and then at university, means you'll be spending your time looking very in depth at a particular writer, a small section of a genre, or a time period. It's true that Lit is far more prestigious than Lang, but that's mainly because Linguistics is a young and emerging field compared to the study of literature.
The kinds of things we do in Lit lessons: read the set texts (Measure for Measure by Shakespeare, for example), pick out specific quotations ("blood, thou art blood", analyse those quotations ('blood could be to do with violence, or sex, or being human/mortal, or about lineage... but mainly about sex', look at the time period and the influences at the time ('Shakespeare chose to represent sexual repression through the character of Angelo because, at the time, the Puritannical movement was garnering support and they emphasised ideas of virtue through chastity', reading critical analyses of said text ('Coleridge says the comedy in the play is "horrible"', compare the text to other texts at the same time ('Webster writes about a similar situation in The Duchess of Malfi showing the corruption of religion and dangers of repression through the two Aragonian brothers...' and, of course, essay writing.

English Language: lots of people ask me: "what's the point in doing both Lit and Lang? Aren't they both the same thing?" Ho-boy. What a question. Lang is much more about a deeper analysis of the words we say and why we say them, and the effect of those words. You'd enjoy Lang if you think more critically and like being exposed to a variety of English texts with all kinds of genres and modes: one day you could be doing a critical analysis of the opening section of DH Lawrence novel, the next you could be analysing Dave Cameron's stepping down speech, the next picking out what makes a televised charity appeal effective (I've done all 3 of those this year!).
What we do in Lang lessons: analyse texts such as - political speeches, novels throughout time, advertisements, leaflets and brochures, travel guides and travel writing, websites, poems etc. For coursework, we're doing an independent investigation into a part of language we're interested in; I'm looking at whether gender or emotion affects language use, my friend is looking at the way kids speak, another is looking at the history of the English language. We also do a piece of creative writing, which you've said you'd enjoy! At university level, Lang gets more intense and delves deeper into questions like: how do kids acquire language? where did the English language come from? how does media affect language (eg Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr)? what are dialects and what do they do?

From what you've said, Lang definitely seems like the best fit for you. Creative writing comes under the Lang umbrella (at least, at A Level!), and one part of Lang is sociolinguistics (sociology mixed with language stuff). Media plays a large role in discussions of language too, and if you came out of uni having written a dissertation on the effects of Tumblr on punctuation (which is a really interesting topic!), you'd be set for a career in Marketing or Media as they would highly value your critical understanding of the English language and the ways you can manipulate and use it.

I'm sorry this reply is so long, but I thought if I could help, I might as well give you all the details I've got! Feel free to message me for more info

That's brilliant thank you so much! This is the exact kind of breakdown of the two studies i was looking for! You search and search and no where can you find someone who actually just lays it out bare for you haha! So that's cleared a lot of things up for me.

I was previously leaning more towards Lang anyways due to what i had read and my own instincts i guess. I'm much more interested in the language we use and why it has certain effects and learning how to evoke said effects through the use of language. Than over-analysing a specific piece of literature to find 10 possible different meanings with every single quote. I find a lot of merit to people who find an interest in that, but it doesn't sound like my cuppa tea. Plus like you said, Lang can lend itself heavily to Creative Writing (which does make sense). As well as have sociology and media thrown in there.

So thanks very much, you've convinced me.
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(Original post by stugraves)
That's brilliant thank you so much! This is the exact kind of breakdown of the two studies i was looking for! You search and search and no where can you find someone who actually just lays it out bare for you haha! So that's cleared a lot of things up for me.

I was previously leaning more towards Lang anyways due to what i had read and my own instincts i guess. I'm much more interested in the language we use and why it has certain effects and learning how to evoke said effects through the use of language. Than over-analysing a specific piece of literature to find 10 possible different meanings with every single quote. I find a lot of merit to people who find an interest in that, but it doesn't sound like my cuppa tea. Plus like you said, Lang can lend itself heavily to Creative Writing (which does make sense). As well as have sociology and media thrown in there.

So thanks very much, you've convinced me.
Lovely! I'm glad my 5 minutes of A Level ramblings has helped!

I was in the same position you're in a year ago when I was convinced that the only English degree I could do would be in Literature, but I always felt too constrained by the subject if that makes sense? When I discovered Lang and Linguistics it felt perfect for me: a Cambridge prof once said "Linguistics (/English Lang) combines pretty much every subject except for Dance", and it's true! With Lang, you've got psychology and sociology, little bits of maths (grammar and syntax of English!), history, English Lit, biology (children acquiring language and some brain stuffs) amongst other disciplines. Lang is excellent if you're looking for something varied and exciting, with the elements of analysis and reading that you'd get in Lit.

Sorry, rambling again, let me know if you ever need book suggestions for further reading, as you can tell I'm pretty passionate about this stuff
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Oh you're fine ramble away haha!

That's my exact feeling with Lit! The feeling of being constricted, it just feels like there's nothing i could do with it in the real world except bug my family and friends about how their favourite author may not have meant what they wrote in they favourite book!

Plus i'd feel like a hypocrite slightly going into Lit as i'm really not a book nut. I love love love a good book don't get me wrong, but i don't read day in day out and i have some friends who study Lit at Uni and that's pretty much all they do! Sounds very weird saying that when i've already said Creative Writing is something i find interest in but hey ho. I love to write, but i love to write my own words using language and my learnt understanding of it, not study others all that much. I don't know if that comes across as bad, at least i hope it doesn't!

None the less thank you, i shall keep you on call for book suggestions once i start my course haha!
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Oh you're fine ramble away haha!

That's my exact feeling with Lit! The feeling of being constricted, it just feels like there's nothing i could do with it in the real world except bug my family and friends about how their favourite author may not have meant what they wrote in they favourite book!

Plus i'd feel like a hypocrite slightly going into Lit as i'm really not a book nut. I love love love a good book don't get me wrong, but i don't read day in day out and i have some friends who study Lit at Uni and that's pretty much all they do! Sounds very weird saying that when i've already said Creative Writing is something i find interest in but hey ho. I love to write, but i love to write my own words using language and my learnt understanding of it, not study others all that much. I don't know if that comes across as bad, at least i hope it doesn't!

None the less thank you, i shall keep you on call for book suggestions once i start my course haha!
Yeah, I think it's a common feeling with people considering studying English! A lot of people only think doing Lit is the only way to study English at uni, and many don't know about English Lang or Linguistics as subjects! People who study English Lit at universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Durham etc will undoubtably gain invaluable skills and become erudite students, but someone who does Lit at say, Bolton university won't be employable as their degree won't leave them with many employment options. With Lang, there are many places which would treat it as a necessary skill, such as media, marketing, journalism etc!

And yeah, no I know what you mean - with the amount of reading you'll need to do for Lit it would be crazy to do it if you couldn't, say, spend 6 hours a day reading? I'm not saying there's not a lot to read for Lang because there's plenty, but the Lang books are often quite interesting with case studies of particular experiments, or descriptions of trends, or the historical tracing back of origins of language. It's much more likely you'll enjoy maybe 75% of what you read in Lang (as it's all pretty similar) than enjoying 75% of the literature you have to read, if that makes sense? It doesn't come across badly at all! Everyone has different strengths, and different interests, and you just gotta find a subject which caters for you
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The Empire Odyssey
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(Original post by stugraves)
That's brilliant thank you so much! This is the exact kind of breakdown of the two studies i was looking for! You search and search and no where can you find someone who actually just lays it out bare for you haha! So that's cleared a lot of things up for me.

I was previously leaning more towards Lang anyways due to what i had read and my own instincts i guess. I'm much more interested in the language we use and why it has certain effects and learning how to evoke said effects through the use of language. Than over-analysing a specific piece of literature to find 10 possible different meanings with every single quote. I find a lot of merit to people who find an interest in that, but it doesn't sound like my cuppa tea. Plus like you said, Lang can lend itself heavily to Creative Writing (which does make sense). As well as have sociology and media thrown in there.

So thanks very much, you've convinced me.
I've actually answered the same question you posted for years and years, numerous time per year so there's definitely something lying around if you know where to look. It's not about what you look for, but where.

I study Literature at uni and previously did Lit and Lang at A-level. What the poster said sums up everything I'd say.

However at uni, it's a lot more flexible. Language at uni is more scientific with a lot more theories. It's not about the way we use language but it's all about how it's used and how it can be applied in different ways by using theories. Theories from where we store language in the brain (psycholinguistics) to how criminals use language when being interviewed (forensic linguistics); to what kind of motor skills children have when they learn to write (motor skills/child language acquisition). It's a lot more scientific but that's all Linguistics.

If you were to pick a degree that said "English Language" that's more how language is used in different mediums such as dialect and accents (Sociolinguistics), or things such as how can a women be portrayed in negative ways in the media through language and typography. There's lots of different areas you can explore at uni. Which is what I like cause it's so varied! I thought I would love Language at A-level and even though I was better at analysing language, i find analysing literature way more interesting. :P

Creative Writing is its own subject at uni. Some unis will allow you to pick outside of your degree schemes, others not so much. But if you want to pursue creative writing at uni, make sure your uni allows you to pick creative writing modules. You will know if they do creative writing modules if there's a Creative Writing degree usually. Sometimes, like my uni doesn't offer it as a degree, but they have about 2 modules per year to choose from.

So, there's a lot of choice to think of, and clearly you've made up your mind to whether it's language or literature. But now you've gotta think whether you want to focus on the scientific side of language or the social side of language!

Feel free to ask any questions.
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Lovely! I'm glad my 5 minutes of A Level ramblings has helped!

I was in the same position you're in a year ago when I was convinced that the only English degree I could do would be in Literature, but I always felt too constrained by the subject if that makes sense? When I discovered Lang and Linguistics it felt perfect for me: a Cambridge prof once said "Linguistics (/English Lang) combines pretty much every subject except for Dance", and it's true! With Lang, you've got psychology and sociology, little bits of maths (grammar and syntax of English!), history, English Lit, biology (children acquiring language and some brain stuffs) amongst other disciplines. Lang is excellent if you're looking for something varied and exciting, with the elements of analysis and reading that you'd get in Lit.

Sorry, rambling again, let me know if you ever need book suggestions for further reading, as you can tell I'm pretty passionate about this stuff
Literature combines everything too! Linguistics as well! Even Dance if you analyse performance drama .
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Yeah, I think it's a common feeling with people considering studying English! A lot of people only think doing Lit is the only way to study English at uni, and many don't know about English Lang or Linguistics as subjects! People who study English Lit at universities like Oxford, Cambridge, Durham etc will undoubtably gain invaluable skills and become erudite students, but someone who does Lit at say, Bolton university won't be employable as their degree won't leave them with many employment options. With Lang, there are many places which would treat it as a necessary skill, such as media, marketing, journalism etc!

And yeah, no I know what you mean - with the amount of reading you'll need to do for Lit it would be crazy to do it if you couldn't, say, spend 6 hours a day reading? I'm not saying there's not a lot to read for Lang because there's plenty, but the Lang books are often quite interesting with case studies of particular experiments, or descriptions of trends, or the historical tracing back of origins of language. It's much more likely you'll enjoy maybe 75% of what you read in Lang (as it's all pretty similar) than enjoying 75% of the literature you have to read, if that makes sense? It doesn't come across badly at all! Everyone has different strengths, and different interests, and you just gotta find a subject which caters for you
I'm about to school you good honey!

First of all, unis have changed and I'm surprised schools are still feeding or at least not breaking the lie of "if you graduate for Oxbridge or a RG uni, you'll have a better track record with employers than non-RG unis". It's complete bs. Degrees aren't the same of what they were in the 19th century. A lot more unis are incorporating how your specific degrees show transferable skills and often Lit and Lang degrees are interchangable to a lot, if not most employers. The only different is, they wouldn't know whether a metaphor has the same implied meaning in a linguistic or a literary sense. It's all about the experiences you gained during uni, what extracurriculars you did and what kind of transferable skills you have gained from it. A lot of humanities degree have the same sort of skills whether you believe it or not. And believe me honey, I've studied 4 different types of humanity subjects at uni and they teach you all the same thing just in a different way (i.e transferable skills).

The amount of reading you'll do is totally dependent on you. Whether you want to read The Interpretations of Dreams cause you're writing a Psychoanalytic paper on Dracula or whether you need to read Crystal's The Structure of Language for an exam on morphology - it just doesn't matter. You don't have to read the amount of things you do. I mean you should, but you don't NEED to.
Now, in your opinion Literature sounds boring to you because it's not as social or experimental as Language. Now personally, I hate that kind of ethnography or sociological element to any form of subject, whether it's Ancient History or Modern Literature. But a theory is a theory. I personally don't like numbers and tables and whatnot so I don't like that sort of stuff you claim to think 75% of Language is that. Now, I do agree Language is heavily associated with empirical knowledge rather than hypothetical or speculative theories that is associated with Literature.

You can look at description of trends in literature for the supernatural serial in 19th century and look at stats on which was popular. You can also trace origins of language in 13th century poetry. Both Language and Literature complement one another and it shouldn't be sought to often stand alone unless it's literary or linguistics.

I think you need to have a clearer view on what Literature is and actually what Language is too as a subject. There are definitely certain elements to Language that would be much difficult to associate with literature, but you'd be surprised by how many topics in language can be incorporated into literature and vice versa. That's all I'm saying sweetheart.
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I'm about to school you good honey!

First of all, unis have changed and I'm surprised schools are still feeding or at least not breaking the lie of "if you graduate for Oxbridge or a RG uni, you'll have a better track record with employers than non-RG unis". It's complete bs. Degrees aren't the same of what they were in the 19th century. A lot more unis are incorporating how your specific degrees show transferable skills and often Lit and Lang degrees are interchangable to a lot, if not most employers. The only different is, they wouldn't know whether a metaphor has the same implied meaning in a linguistic or a literary sense. It's all about the experiences you gained during uni, what extracurriculars you did and what kind of transferable skills you have gained from it. A lot of humanities degree have the same sort of skills whether you believe it or not. And believe me honey, I've studied 4 different types of humanity subjects at uni and they teach you all the same thing just in a different way (i.e transferable skills).

The amount of reading you'll do is totally dependent on you. Whether you want to read The Interpretations of Dreams cause you're writing a Psychoanalytic paper on Dracula or whether you need to read Crystal's The Structure of Language for an exam on morphology - it just doesn't matter. You don't have to read the amount of things you do. I mean you should, but you don't NEED to.
Now, in your opinion Literature sounds boring to you because it's not as social or experimental as Language. Now personally, I hate that kind of ethnography or sociological element to any form of subject, whether it's Ancient History or Modern Literature. But a theory is a theory. I personally don't like numbers and tables and whatnot so I don't like that sort of stuff you claim to think 75% of Language is that. Now, I do agree Language is heavily associated with empirical knowledge rather than hypothetical or speculative theories that is associated with Literature.

You can look at description of trends in literature for the supernatural serial in 19th century and look at stats on which was popular. You can also trace origins of language in 13th century poetry. Both Language and Literature complement one another and it shouldn't be sought to often stand alone unless it's literary or linguistics.

I think you need to have a clearer view on what Literature is and actually what Language is too as a subject. There are definitely certain elements to Language that would be much difficult to associate with literature, but you'd be surprised by how many topics in language can be incorporated into literature and vice versa. That's all I'm saying sweetheart.
So, I appreciate your input, and whilst you're much more qualified than I am to assess literature at a university level, OP seemed to be requesting a detailed breakdown of the differences between the two, and I guess I was just trying to highlight the differences I've encountered in the two subjects, rather than start a Lang vs Lit flamewar.

I'd say I have a pretty strong grasp on what Language is at an A Level standard, and since I'm planning to study Linguistics at university, I've done a great deal of research and reading both around the subject and what the subject entails, although I appreciate your concern. I recognise that the two subjects have plenty of interchangeable aspects and areas that can be incorporated into both, but OP seemed to be confused as to the major differences between the two subjects and that's what I was aiming to address. Furthermore, OP stated sociology and media as two areas that they were interested in, and from my own experience, I've found fewer instances of sociology occurring in English Literature studies in comparison to the area of linguistics, sociolinguistics, which deals with precisely that. Also, from speaking to people studying Literature at university and from looking in detail at many of the courses offered in Lit, it seems like there would be far fewer opportunities to study the various forms of media one can focus on in Lang/linguistics.

I did not mean to offend you in my basic outline of the key differences in Lang and Lit, and I fully agree with you that there are many overlapping elements in both subjects, which is why I enjoy both at A Level for different reasons. Having said that, from the brief details from OP it seems like Lang may be more suited to them, despite how much Lit can probably cater to their tastes and interests.
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So, I appreciate your input on my opinions, and whilst you're much more qualified than I am to assess literature at a university level, OP seemed to be requesting a detailed breakdown of the differences between the two, and I guess I was just trying to highlight the differences I've encountered in the two subjects, rather than start a Lang vs Lit flamewar.

I'd say I have a pretty strong grasp on what Language is at an A Level standard, and since I'm planning to study Linguistics at university, I've done a great deal of research and reading both around the subject and what the subject entails, although I appreciate your concern. I recognise that the two subjects have plenty of interchangeable aspects and areas that can be incorporated into both, but OP seemed to be confused as to the major differences between the two subjects and that's what I was aiming to address. Furthermore, OP stated sociology and media as two areas that they were interested in, and from my own experience, I've found fewer instances of sociology occurring in English Literature studies in comparison to the area of linguistics, sociolinguistics, which deals with precisely that. Also, from speaking to people studying Literature at university and from looking in detail at many of the courses offered in Lit, it seems like there would be far fewer opportunities to study the various forms of media one can focus on in Lang/linguistics.

I did not mean to offend you grossly in my basic outline of the key differences in Lang and Lit, and I fully agree with you that there are many overlapping elements in both subjects, which is why I enjoy both at A Level for different reasons. Having said that, from the brief details from OP it seems like Lang may be more suited to them, despite how much Lit can probably cater to their tastes and interests.
Oh sweetheart, I'm not saying any thing you said was wrong. I was just merely trying to educate you on the current university situation. You seemed misinformed about a few things and I was just clarifying your assumptions. It's easy to make them when you're not at uni. Myself included and friends around me made the same judgement as yourself. Once you go to uni, you'll thank me.

You can solely focus on the social contexts in Literature. There's a dozen theories and literary criticism that approaches a sociological view in literary studies. Marxism, New Historicism, Contextual Criticism and of course, sociological criticism :P. But you weren't to know that since your passion clearly lie in favour of Language (nothing wrong with that of course). I loved Language at A-level! Well sort of. It turned out to be too methodical when I did coursework which I hated!

You say "looking in detail at many of the courses offered in Lit, it seems like there would be far fewer opportunities to study the various forms of media one can focus on in Lang/linguistics." Well Literature is primarily focused on written communication. However, there's still more genres you can explore that a lot of people haven't heard of. But I do see how sticking to one form convention can become monotonous in nature. However, you can analyse poetry via verbal and spoken communication. The same with drama and performance literature. But I see your point.

I definitely was not offended honey, I was just trying to shed light on the subject that is Literature. A lot of people often misinterpret the subject. As I said, I wasn't discrediting what you were saying, just giving you some information in light of some of your statements hon.

You do you thing. You seem passionate enough for the subject which is great to see!
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I personally think that studying English Literature can be considered an examples of how we interact and understand each other through tales and how those tales are formed. I think from that perspective, Literature can be considered a more social subject. I mean, let's use the Taming of the Shrew as an example we are learning about how men and women as married couples respond to one another. It's also exploring the boundaries between a couple such as Petruchio trying to starve Kate and explores the gender difference (observing Kate as a Shrew.)
Language is looking at it from a day to day interpretation which is interesting such as exploring it in a much more linear perspective which does let us come to a more modernist opinion. It's more about studying how lang is used day to day which can be seen as more helpful but I think it can also be seen as slightly tedious since I would explore other people's lives and analyse what we can learn about society than studying the time of language used in online or whatever but maybe that is just me. I think that language is just as valid as lit but lit is older and far more interesting.
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Oh sweetheart, I'm not saying any thing you said was wrong. I was just merely trying to educate you on the current university situation. You seemed misinformed about a few things and I was just clarifying your assumptions. It's easy to make them when you're not at uni. Myself included and friends around me made the same judgement as yourself. Once you go to uni, you'll thank me.

You can solely focus on the social contexts in Literature. There's a dozen theories and literary criticism that approaches a sociological view in literary studies. Marxism, New Historicism, Contextual Criticism and of course, sociological criticism :P. But you weren't to know that since your passion clearly lie in favour of Language (nothing wrong with that of course). I loved Language at A-level! Well sort of. It turned out to be too methodical when I did coursework which I hated!

You say "looking in detail at many of the courses offered in Lit, it seems like there would be far fewer opportunities to study the various forms of media one can focus on in Lang/linguistics." Well Literature is primarily focused on written communication. However, there's still more genres you can explore that a lot of people haven't heard of. But I do see how sticking to one form convention can become monotonous in nature. However, you can analyse poetry via verbal and spoken communication. The same with drama and performance literature. But I see your point.

I definitely was not offended honey, I was just trying to shed light on the subject that is Literature. A lot of people often misinterpret the subject. As I said, I wasn't discrediting what you were saying, just giving you some information in light of some of your statements hon.

You do you thing. You seem passionate enough for the subject which is great to see!
Okay right fair dos, I see what you're saying. I think you're being a bit presumptuous but I get that you're trying to help me, so thanks.

I typed out a big long thing in response to this but I don't think it's fair to hijack a thread with my own thoughts, opinions and arguments. If you want, I'm more than willing to continue this chat on some kind of message or whatever! If not, fair enough I get what your saying, and any help is good help for someone looking for advice on uni subject choices.
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#15
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(Original post by Atticus88)
I personally think that studying English Literature can be considered an examples of how we interact and understand each other through tales and how those tales are formed. I think from that perspective, Literature can be considered a more social subject. I mean, let's use the Taming of the Shrew as an example we are learning about how men and women as married couples respond to one another. It's also exploring the boundaries between a couple such as Petruchio trying to starve Kate and explores the gender difference (observing Kate as a Shrew.)
Language is looking at it from a day to day interpretation which is interesting such as exploring it in a much more linear perspective which does let us come to a more modernist opinion. It's more about studying how lang is used day to day which can be seen as more helpful but I think it can also be seen as slightly tedious since I would explore other people's lives and analyse what we can learn about society than studying the time of language used in online or whatever but maybe that is just me. I think that language is just as valid as lit but lit is older and far more interesting.
You've definitely hit the nail on the head with ideas about Literature being used to explore interactions between subcultures, groups of people, ideologies and much more, and for that reason I love the subject of Lit!

Without wanting to come off all know-it-all, there's lots more to Lang than just studying the 'day to day interpretation' of people speaking! There's plenty of research into the field of modern language usage, like why do people speak the way they do? what's influenced that? why do people complain all the time about kids ruining the english language? are we actually ruining the english language? (spoiler alert: we're not!).

However, language and linguistics is ridiculously broad, and to me at least, incredibly interesting! Although the field is young, the study of it goes back say, 5000 years ago with the Sumerian alphabet, and those prehistoric methods of communication! Some interesting fields: historical linguistics and the origins of speech and writing, language and the brain, speech ailments, disorders and impediments, language and society, children and how they acquire language, bilingualism, grammar and syntax, accents and dialects, etc! It's a great subject for exploring the way people think (do we think in our language, or in abstract shapes/colours?), and a great way to analyse the way people construct society through their language.

A really good example is the controversy over #BlackLivesMatter. Does this # mean that white lives don't matter? Is that what it's trying to say?

A linguistic analysis would make the distinction between the different 'implications' (a seemingly obvious theory thought up by this guy Grice). By stating that black lives matter, is it trying to say that 'black lives matter (too)', suggesting that the recent social events have diminished the idea that black lives matter? Or, does it focus on 'black lives (DO) matter', shifting the focus to the veracity of the statement, suggesting that recent events suggest that people DON'T think black lives matter? The people who think the statement is deliberately exclusive would see the implications of the statement as '(ONLY) black lives matter', thus excluding other minorities, causing them to strike back with #AllLivesMatter. So, the job of linguists is to figure out WHY some people see the focus as being one of truth (DO) or one of exclusivity (ONLY). Could we devise a better # to stop people taking the implication as one of exclusivity?

That's just one example of the way language and linguistics explores relevant and cool topics in our society, proving to explore in detail the ways our society uses and interprets language. Sorry if I've droned on a little bit, I can't talk about this stuff enough. To OP, if you've found the #BLM issue interesting, you'd be perfectly suited to Language.
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The Empire Odyssey
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#16
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(Original post by blue2337)
Okay right fair dos, I see what you're saying. I think you're being a bit presumptuous but I get that you're trying to help me, so thanks.

I typed out a big long thing in response to this but I don't think it's fair to hijack a thread with my own thoughts, opinions and arguments. If you want, I'm more than willing to continue this chat on some kind of message or whatever! If not, fair enough I get what your saying, and any help is good help for someone looking for advice on uni subject choices.
You're so mature - I laaaave it!
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