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Tuesday, December 06, 2011

In Space, No One Can Hear You...

6 comments:

  1. You might be interested to know that Pinker discusses this in 'The Language Instinct'. Except, linguistically it isn't any different than that of the many words that English speakers use to describe snow.

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  2. "Except, linguistically it isn't any different than that of the many words that English speakers use to describe snow."

    Did you follow the link in the post?

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  3. Yes, I had. It is an extreme case, indeed.

    I was talking more along the lines of "cold", "fluff", "powder", "hard-pack", etc which obviously aren't words for snow, they are merely words describing snow (but are often used in the place of snow) This (as far as I know) is where the whole "50 words for snow" thing came about originally. Basically, mistaking the words of the Eskimo language, as used above in English, as actual words for snow.

    The article that you linked to has Nevin going WAYYYYY beyond that, which is plain idiocy. However, I have the feeling that he might have been doing so tongue in cheek (i.e. he was being purposely ridiculous).

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  4. No, Joseph, I mean that what I linked to contained a debunking of the "50 words for snow" idea itself.

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  5. "The Eskimo Snow Vocabulary Debate: Fallacies and Confusions"
    by Mark Halpern

    http://www.rules-of-the-game.com/lin003-snow-words.htm

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  6. I read the article more along the lines of "the 50 words for snow thing is incorrect yet people keep bringing it back. Here is an extreme case of such".

    Obviously, I know that there aren't 50 words for snow in the Eskimo language. However, I wanted to also give an example of how such a confusion could have come about even if it was journalists who perpetrated the myth (not linguists).

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