20 Words That Mean Something Entirely Different to English Majors

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Jobs - 2 years ago
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1. Epic

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: Something super awesome. Ex: “Dude, that party was epic!”
What it means to English Majors: a long poem dealing with events crucial to the survival of a people or nation

2. Stanza

What it means to everyone else: Almost a name from Game of Thrones. As in, “You know that girl Stanza from Game of Thrones?” “You mean, Sansa?” “Whatever. She’s hot.”
What it means to English Majors: a multi-line unit of poetic composition that may be a complete syntactic/logical unit

3. Orality

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: Uh. What do you think?
What it means to English Majors: the literary quality of texts written to be read or sung aloud

4. Parody

What it means to everyone else: Oh you know, movies like Frankenstein, The Princess Bride, The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy…
What it means to English Majors: Oh you know, books like Frankenstein, The Princess Bride, The Hitchhikers’ Guide to the Galaxy…

5. Beast Fable

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: Wait—the new movie in the Harry Potter universe? WAIT – is that out?
What it means to English Majors: a short satiric tale whose characters include talking animals whose adventures are intended to illustrate human frailties

6. Debate

What it means to everyone else: OH MY GOD—is this election over yet?
What it means to English Majors: a late classical and medieval genre which often involves representative social figures

7. Fabliau

What it means to everyone else: ???
What it means to English Majors: a short medieval French poetic narrative about the bawdy and deceptive behaviors of various people

8. Conflict

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: How you feel when three of your favorite movies are on Netflix at the same time
What it means to English Majors: Friction, tensions or opposition that keeps the characters from reaching their goals

9. Query

What it means to everyone else: A question
What it means to English Majors: A letter that you will likely send hundreds, if not thousands of times to editors, agents, or publishers

10. Fantasy

What it means to everyone else: Something, maybe a little seedy, that you dream about. For more info, ask Luda.
What it means to English Majors: Stories that include mythical creatures and often magic.

11. Hook

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: That thing you use to catch fish
What it means to English Majors: The first line, paragraph or page that draws the reader into the story

12. 1984

What it means to everyone else: A year… Oh wait, is that Taylor Swift’s new album?
What it means to English Majors: George Orwell’s classic novel that you have undoubtedly read more times than you can count. (Because math—amiright, English majors?)

13. Math

What it means to everyone else: Something that you have studied at length and likely use often in your day to day life.
What it means to English Majors: Something that you probably studied for a semester—and likely will never use again.

14. Science

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: Something that you have studied at length and likely use often in day to day life.
What it means to English Majors: Wait, do you mean like Science Fiction?

15. MS

What it means to everyone else: Ms.—abbreviation for Miss
What it means to English Majors: MS—manuscript. Again, something that you will likely send hundreds, if not thousands of times, to editors, publishers, and agents

16. Point of view

What it means to everyone else: How someone sees or thinks about something
What it means to English Majors: The viewpoint in which the story is told (first, second or third person)

17. Royalty

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: A group of royal people.
What it means to English Majors: A percentage of the retail price of a book paid to the author on each book that is sold

18. Animal Farm

What it means to everyone else: A happy, idyllic home for farm animals, probably pictured among rolling fields of corn and cotton candy clouds
What it means to English Majors: A less happy, idyllic novella all about the events leading up to the Stalinist era of the Soviet Union

19. Slush pile

English Major Words
What it means to everyone else: That gray, goo that builds up on the street after it snows
What it means to English Majors: Where unsolicited submissions go to die.

20. Atmosphere

What it means to everyone else: The gaseous mass or envelope surrounding a celestial body. I.E.—that stuff you’re breathing right now.
What it means to English Majors: term used to describe the mood of a piece of writing