UML wrote: But regarding your last point: you've strutted into this thread and rudely taken a huge dump on English majors by claiming that studying English is useless. Later you backpedal by claiming that you believe it has intrinsic value.
Everything has intrinsic value to one person or another. Thus, nothing is useless if the intrinsic value becomes the determinant of usefulness. This takes us to the realm of philosophy for which this is neither the time nor place. We're being accused of being insufferable as it is.
You object to this saying that the same things can be said about Latin. So what? The same thing can be said about anything in the humanities but this doesn’t detract from the truth that studying English can be a steppingstone to a true, lifelong education.
That's the point. Arguing about the usefulness of majoring in English based on a common denominator applicable to virtually every other subject is weak at best.
You compare it to stamp collecting as if it’s a mere hobby
No, the comparison is based on the intrinsic value inherent in both. You're "strutting in here and taking a huge dump on stamp collection". I collect stamps and I will not have you impugn my dignity! Actually, I don't...but you get the point.
Becoming a self-sufficient thinker and learner, a lifelong student, is nothing to be scoffed at.
Emphasis on "self".
I am confident that studying English gave me the mental dexterity to handle any framework of ideas. I choose to go to law school. But if I had wanted to be an economist, or an accountant, or a mathematician, or an investment banker, or go to medical school, or engineering school, or do anything else, I am confident that I could independently memorize and apply the facts and formulas necessary for me to do so.
Be all you can be, but I can assure you majoring in English won't help you become a mathematician. Apples and oranges, really. This is not to say people who major in English cannot become mathematicians.