Daily Archives: January 7, 2015

The Fake “Eskimo Words for Snow” Myth

My field, Linguistics, is a very silly field. One of things that the “scientists” in this softest of soft sciences love to do is “bust myths about linguistics.” The problem is that most of the “myths” that they bust are not even myths at all. In fact, they are more or less true!

For instance, there is the famous “Eskimo words for snow” argument. Folklore has it that the Eskimos have 50, 100 or some large number of for snow.

The brilliant leading lights of this genius profession have put on their thinking caps and decided that this is in fact a “myth.” Apparently, Eskimos actually have only ~4-5 words for snow.

Now the problem is that we get into an endless semantic debate here about the meaning of the lexical item called “word.” The linguists are playing semantic games with this definition, and this is how they arrived at their highly dubious conclusion.

The truth is this: Eskimo has only ~4-5 roots for snow. Now if you know language, you know what a root is. A root is a basic form of a word from which many other words can be built. However, the notion that only roots are words is a most peculiar one. I would like to see these brilliant linguists throw that definition of a word – “Only a root can be a word” at the editors of our leading dictionaries. Think that nutty definition will fly with them? Um, no.

So let us move away from the linguists’ daffynition of “word” towards a more sane definition of word. For now let us say that each individual bolded and indented item followed by an etiology and a definition in a major dictionary counts as a word. Now whether you want to count derived words as separate words, I have no idea and I am not sure how Oxford’s counts them either.

But the root of the matter is this: By combining those 4-5 roots with all sorts of funny and strange infixes, prefixes, suffixes and God knows what other polysynthetic morphological magic they can conjure up, you can indeed count many different specific Eskimo words for snow. There are all sorts of different words for different types of snow and ice in various conditions, states and formations. There is a specific word for just about every type of snow or ice you could possibly imagine.

All in all, there are 50-70 different words for snow and over 100 more for ice and sea ice. In addition, due to the polysynthetic nature of the language, the number of words for snow is highly productive, so people could theoretically create all sorts of new words for snow simply by sticking new affixes on or removing old ones. Although the number of potential Eskimo words for snow is probably not infinite as Pullman stated in his famous but silly article, doubtless the number of possible words is quite high.

Now leaving aside “roots” and nonsense like that, exactly how many words does English have for snow and ice of all sorts of types and consistencies? Not a whole lot. Skiers have come up with some but not a lot. Surely one cannot find over 150 different words in English describing every type of snow or ice you could possibly imagine. Yet in Eskimo you can. Because of course, their lives revolve around snow, ice, seals, blubber, igloos, wife-sharing, alcoholism and speaking an insanely convoluted polysynthetic language.

So no matter what you think of this debate, don’t you think the linguists’ position is rather idiotic? I honestly do not know why they do this myth-busting thing, unless they are a bunch of smart-asses trying to show everyone what brainiacs they are.

There are quite a few other silly things that my profession believes that also fall other this ludicrous notion of  “myth-busting,” but this will be all for now. Maybe more in the future.

Expect the PC headcases from Bad Linguistics Reddit to head on over here. I am actually trying to bait those social science mush-heads into responding. They really hate me over there, but honestly, that’s a badge one should wear with pride. Hell, better than that, put it on your resume!

If you think this website is valuable to you, please consider a contribution to support the continuation of the site. Donations are the only thing that keep the site operating.

7 Comments

Filed under Eskimo-Aleut, Language Families, Linguistics

The Jew-Money Thing

Jason Y writes:

Probably the “Jew thing” is really about “money”. Rich people or upper middle class people, tend to be snobby, arrogant, all those things I mentioned. Given human nature, most people hate them, due to those factors. The rich dismiss it as jealousy, but often the rich bring it on themselves.

It is very much about money. A lot of people are very envious and jealous and Jews and there is this idea that them having all that money is simply not fair. From a Left standpoint, they are correct. The problem is that antisemites cannot reckon with the idea that maybe Jews got all that money just by being people who are absolutely driven by money, status and power from Day One, and this is what got them where they are.

Antisemites look at Jewish success and say, “No way did they get all this fairly. They had to have cheated, lied and stole and that’s how they made it to the top.” So they are disliked not only for being too successful but for the idea that they must have gotten there unethically. I figure Jews probably made most of their cash as fair and square as anyone else in this corrupt society. 21st Century American Gentiles aren’t exactly paragons of morality either.

A lot of Jews are definitely extremely materialistic and very much into money. They seriously look down on anyone who does not have much money. Other Jews are horrifically greedy, money-grubbing tools. However, there are definitely many millions of Gentiles who are ultra-materialistic and horrifically greedy money-grubbing douchebags too. I suppose it boils down to percentage. Probably a higher % of Jews are like than Gentiles, but trust me, the number of Gentiles with that “Jewy” mindset that so many hate so much runs into the many tens of millions.

I would also like to point out that there are poor Jews. I know Jews who can’t even afford their own apartment, who are using social programs like Medicaid  and food stamps, who live in hotels day to day, buy their food at food banks and who can’t afford to fix their cars or buy car insurance. If you hate all Jews for being rich, do you hate the poor ones too? What for?

It is really just human nature to be a greedy, money-grubbing little twit, but nevertheless, your average person finds this behavior somewhat seedy if not disgusting and tries to distance themselves from it. Your average Joe is not what I would call “totally into money.” I have met both Jews and Gentiles who woke up in the morning and lived, breathed, ate, drank and even shit and pissed money all day long. Some of the worst offenders were definitely Gentiles.

Sure, most of us are into money. I can’t even pay my bills every month, so I assure you that I am into money myself. I wake up every morning thinking, “How am I going to get some money today,” and spend a good part of the day trying to figure out how to get some.

A lot of the most money-obsessed people are quite poor. They really have no incomes so they spend sunup to sundown trying to figure out how to work up some money doing this, that or the other. But I would never begrudge any human for trying to survive. Sure most of us like money, but there is a point at which you are such a money-grubbing little prick that to me you are a pretty disgusting human being. Just my values.

I often tell people, “I don’t really like people who are ‘totally into money’ to where that is what their whole existence is all about.” This is true. I have run a number of these folks out of my life. I am not saying they are bad people. They are what they are. Their morals and values are between them and their pastors or them and God. On the other hand, I have pretty much had it with these folks, and I don’t particularly care to be around them anymore. They annoy me and they are somewhat disgusting and repellent.

16 Comments

Filed under Anti-Semitism, Jews, Race/Ethnicity, Racism

Terrorist Attack on French Satirical Magazine in Paris

Wow.

I just heard about this.

Several gunmen rushed into the editorial offices shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire. At least 12 people were killed including two cops and the magazine’s editorial director. The number of wounded is not known. The driver and the shooters are still at large. The French Muslim community has condemned the attack. The magazine has run multiple cartoons lampooning Islam, including quite a few showing drawings of the Prophet Mohammad. The offices were firebombed by Islamists in 2011, resulting in devastating damage to the office but no casualties.

12 Comments

Filed under Europe, France, Islam, Journalism, Radical Islam, Regional, Religion, Terrorism

“Racism Is a Thing of the Past”

Well, if Republicans says it, it must be true, right. Welcome to post-racial America, where no one sees color anymore.

NAACP office bombed in Colorado.

Reality check.

I guess it adds up though. Colorado Springs is like White Nationalist Central. It’s also full of Protestant fundamentalist religious kooks. Coincidence

 

12 Comments

Filed under Colorado, Crime, Homegrown Terrorism, Racism, Regional, USA, West, White Racism

Fat World

The following bloated countries are listed in order of porkiness. Suey, suey!

1. United States
2. China
3. India
4. Russia
5. Brazil
6. Mexico
7. Egypt
8. Germany
9. Pakistan
10. Indonesia

The Fat Top Ten!

Some of these are simply bizarre.

Pakistan? I thought 1/3 of the population was starving and malnourished?

Brazil? What about those miserably poor people in the favelas? Indonesia?

How does an Indonesian even get fat anyway? Those people are little, and they live on rice and fish sauce.

India!? Half the population is starving and malnourished, and it’s the fattest country on Earth. What gives?

China? Ever seen a fat Chinese girl? They are quite rare. The last fat Chinaman I saw was Mao. Where do they find these people?

Egypt. Next time the Arab haters rant about the “failed Arab world,” show them this figure. Egypt is so failed that it’s people have so much food they have turned into human balloons. Some failed state.

Russia? The Russophobes say that Russians are starving. Well, you know that isn’t true. Look at your average Babushka. She’s as wide as Siberia.

Mexico? Ever heard the pro-amnesty crowd wail about Mexico?

“Oh those poor Mexicans! They’re starving down there! They are so hardworking! They have great family values! They will enrich our culture by taking all of our jobs and creating barrio slums in every American town! They didn’t cross the border, the border crossed them!”

I always knew Mexicans have plenty of food to eat. I live around a bunch of people who came from Mexico just recently, and they told me just that.

Germany? Well Germans have always been fat. Except Hitler. He was sort of skinny. Even his mustache was thin.

23 Comments

Filed under Africa, Americas, Asia, Brazil, China, Egypt, Eurasia, Europe, Germany, Health, India, Indonesia, Mexico, North Africa, Nutrition, Pakistan, Regional, Russia, SE Asia, South America, South Asia, USA