Re: words...

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Posted by Chris on November 20, 1999 at 16:11:34:

In Reply to: words... posted by Petra on November 20, 1999 at 12:55:44:

Hi Everyone,

While we're having this discussion, I thought I might step back up on my soapbox too for a moment. Although the term "Eskimo" was originally used in Canada as a derogatory term, by the time the word had spread to Alaska, it had lost its derogatory meaning and is used here freely by Alaskan Natives and Whites alike. It is used to identify the Inuit and differentiate between them and the Aleut and various Indian peoples. I understand it is still considered derogatory in Canada, so should be used with care if at all. As a side note, I had always been told that "Inuit" referred only to the circumpolar people, but this week I saw a Yup'ik video in which they identified themselves as Inuit. That makes the distinctions a little easier, as one can avoid the use of "Eskimo" altogether and use Inuit in its place.

I have always found languages complicated enough to understand on the surface, and then there are all those sub-surface connotations which keep changing. Eeeek!


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