Great Eskimo Vocabulary Hoax

Damsel in Dior Photo CreditOver the weekend, when all the newscasters and interns were looking for different ways to discuss the “snowmageddon” that hit the north-east-coast I bet they all came across the great eskimo vocabulary hoax. While this is also the name of a book now on my wish list, I am actually referring to the weird pseudo fact that all of us 80’s kids grew up with “eskimos have a million words for snow”. No, no. They don’t. Here is why: There are many “eskimo” languages and different people / cultures are called eskimos and they probably don’t call each other eskimos so there isn’t really a way to discuss what constitutes a “word” when the different languages we assume “eskimos to speak” have different ways to make a “word”… this is confusing. Yes. So here is the Wikipedia link that explains this better. And the only reason this was even remotely interesting to me is that our newscasters are BORING. I bet they don’t even try to make a snow storm interesting by inventing some kind of word that would express our dissatisfaction with commuting to work / school with snow that is black in color all over the streets of Brooklyn / Manhattan all the while attempting to understand whether it is alright to go to work in shoes that are definitely not worn by grown people.


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