Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3,615
    #1

    Man of letters

    I have used "man of letters" in the following sentences. Would you please correct my mistakes?

    1. Although as a man of letters Orwell was not a great stylist, his work has had an enormous influence on Western society.
    2. Scott Fitzgerald is still regarded is one of the greatest men of letters in American literature.
    3. Tolstoy was not only a man of letters, but also a humanitarian who cared about peasants and empathised with their plight.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Apr 2014
    • Posts: 3,349
    #2

    Re: Man of letters

    Isn't the term "man of letters" old-fashioned? Why not just say "writer" or "author"?
    I am not a teacher.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3,615
    #3

    Re: Man of letters

    tedmc,
    I do not think that "man of letters" is old-fashioned, although you seldom see it nowadays in print. But let us see what some of the teachers say about it.

  1. Tarheel's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 11,088
    #4

    Re: Man of letters

    All of your sentences are fine, Bassim. It is true, however, that "man of letters" is not used as much as it used to be. However, during Tolstoy's time or during Orwell's time that phrase would have been in use. Also, anybody who is well-read would understand it.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 9,369
    #5

    Re: Man of letters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    tedmc,
    I do not think that "man of letters" is old-fashioned, although you seldom see it nowadays in print. But let us see what some of the teachers say about it.
    I would not write man of letters unless I wanted to mimic writing of another era. I'd write educated person or words to that effect.
    I am not a teacher.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Serbo-Croatian
      • Home Country:
      • Bosnia Herzegovina
      • Current Location:
      • Sweden

    • Join Date: Mar 2008
    • Posts: 3,615
    #6

    Re: Man of letters

    GoesStation
    I used "man of letters" because I wished to know if I could use it instead of "author" or "writer." I think "man of letters" would be appropriate in academic writing.

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Jun 2014
    • Posts: 11,088
    #7

    Re: Man of letters

    I would certainly like to be called a man of letters. While the phrase is a bit old-fashioned, there is nothing wrong with it

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 9,369
    #8

    Re: Man of letters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    GoesStation
    I used "man of letters" because I wished to know if I could use it instead of "author" or "writer." I think "man of letters" would be appropriate in academic writing.
    I would urge you to avoid that phrase particularly in academic writing. In much of academia, gender-specific labels of that sort are strongly discouraged these days. This site recommends replacing it with scholar or academic, either of which seems suitable.

    Whether this seems reasonable or excessively politically correct to you, there's really no reason to exclude half of humanity from a reference like that.
    I am not a teacher.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Malaysia
      • Current Location:
      • Malaysia

    • Join Date: Apr 2014
    • Posts: 3,349
    #9

    Re: Man of letters

    I have heard of "doctor of letters" which is conferred as an hononary degree.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_of_Letters

    I don't think it is so much a gender issue, since the three well-known personalities are males, as a rather dated and overly formal term.
    Last edited by tedmc; 16-Feb-2016 at 04:09.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Boris Tatarenko's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: May 2013
    • Posts: 1,099
    #10

    Re: Man of letters

    Quote Originally Posted by Bassim View Post
    I have used "man of letters" in the following sentences. Would you please correct my mistakes?


    2. Scott Fitzgerald is still regarded is (as) one of the greatest men of letters in American literature.
    Am I the only one who found this mistake?
    Please, correct all my mistakes. I should know English perfectly and if you show me my mistakes I will achieve my dream a little bit faster. A lot of thanks.

    Not a teacher nor a native speaker.

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-Jul-2012, 08:01
  2. [Vocabulary] technogenic vs. man-induced vs. man-triggered, etc.
    By Larisa_rog in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 16-Jun-2012, 14:09
  3. Roman letters VS Latin letters
    By AH020387 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 08-Mar-2011, 17:20
  4. small letters vs. lower-case letters
    By PINKGREAT in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Nov-2010, 04:14
  5. [Grammar] Man(human) man(male) men (plural) and the definite article...+adverbs
    By Maluues in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Sep-2008, 00:09

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •