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Price of Polyglottery - New Prof

 Language Learning Forum : Lessons in Polyglottery Post Reply
90 messages over 12 pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 7 ... 11 12 Next >>
Josquin
Heptaglot
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Germany
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 Message 49 of 90
04 October 2013 at 1:08pm | IP Logged 
Sterogyl wrote:
@Josquin: You didn't get my point, sorry. It's not about Harry Potter. I was talking about the actual use of such a degree (a degree in polyliteracy at the PIFLSS). And don't be so agressive, doesn't make you look prettier.

I beg your pardon for being aggressive, but I still don't understand why the usefulness of a degree depends on the age of the books that have to be read for it. A language-related degree is never directly useful, unless you study translation.
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tarvos
Super Polyglot
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China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
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 Message 50 of 90
04 October 2013 at 1:28pm | IP Logged 
Also a good book is a good book no matter the
age or how classic it is.

Furthermore if classic means flowery and
overcomplicated language then I rather read
modern literature. I will have no truck with
this it is old and complex so it is classic
business. That is pointless elitism.
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3275 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 51 of 90
04 October 2013 at 2:49pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
That is pointless elitism.

This may come as a shock to you, but art is not democratic.

Only because you can't appreciate a work of art doesn't mean it's bad. There's a difference between entertainment and art.

Edited by Josquin on 04 October 2013 at 3:11pm

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tarvos
Super Polyglot
Winner TAC 2012
Senior Member
China
likeapolyglot.wordpr
Joined 3138 days ago

5310 posts - 9398 votes 
Speaks: Dutch*, English, Swedish, French, Russian, German, Italian, Norwegian, Mandarin, Romanian, Afrikaans
Studies: Greek, Modern Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, Czech, Korean, Esperanto, Finnish

 
 Message 52 of 90
04 October 2013 at 3:55pm | IP Logged 
I can appreciate art just fine. Flowery just
isn't necessarily art. There is plenty of
modern literature that is just as good.
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Josquin
Heptaglot
Senior Member
Germany
Joined 3275 days ago

2266 posts - 3992 votes 
Speaks: German*, English, French, Latin, Italian, Russian, Swedish
Studies: Japanese, Irish, Portuguese, Persian

 
 Message 53 of 90
04 October 2013 at 4:18pm | IP Logged 
tarvos wrote:
I can appreciate art just fine. Flowery just
isn't necessarily art. There is plenty of
modern literature that is just as good.

I didn't say you couldn't appreciate any art at all and I certainly didn't mean to say that modern literature was not art. Well, obviously not all literature is art. A lot is simply rubbish, but that includes old as well as new books.

Anyway, this all boils down to questions of personal taste, so calling people who like "flowery" language and complex books "elitist" is a bit unfair and insulting. You're judging other people by your own standards! I certainly wouldn't call people who like e.g. Harry Potter "proletarian" (because I have learned to appreciate other people's opinions), so why is it okay for you to call me "elitist" and even "pointless"?

Of course, debating this topic in detail would include the question why our society detests any kind of "elite" so much, be it only intellectual. I'm afraid this topic doesn't really touch the question of language learning, so this is all I'll say.

Edited by Josquin on 04 October 2013 at 4:24pm

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Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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 Message 54 of 90
04 October 2013 at 5:01pm | IP Logged 
The "Great Books" are generally not particularly flowery, unlike many old and contemporary books. They are often considered "Great" for the impact that their content had on the development of ideas, rather than their style. It's an entirely different classification system from any of those used for 'good' books; perhaps the terminology is unfortunate.

Tarvos is absolutely correct that some older literature has aged poorly, and much of it wasn't that good to begin with. However, flowery styles aren't confined to one era, and plenty of what is written today is also rather poorly done. Still, I think the idea that it's reasonable to prefer to read a book which is well-written and enjoyable (by the reader's standard), rather than one which is neither, is a rational stance.

Would polyliteracy be a useful degree? Probably, in the same way that a good degree in philosophy, or a St. John's degree after a 4-year program studying the Great Books would be. That is, it wouldn't instantly get you a job, but would rather finely hone your ability to discuss ideas that you have thought about a significant amount, which is quite crucial across a range of fields. The graduates of such a program would likely end up in some quite interesting places.
4 persons have voted this message useful



Volte
Tetraglot
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Switzerland
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4474 posts - 6725 votes 
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 Message 56 of 90
04 October 2013 at 5:15pm | IP Logged 
erenko wrote:
I was wondering how many 'Great Books' and in what languages ProfA himslef read. Did he write anything about it?


He's written a bit in various places. I'd be surprised if he hasn't read everything on his lists in languages he knows to an adequate level (a number in the low two digits), given that he appears to habitually learn languages, read extensively in them, and then devour their Great Books. He has written about the role they played in his formal education as well.

Edited by Volte on 04 October 2013 at 5:18pm



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