Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks

Zuludaddy, being a linguist, has pointed out that there are a number of flaws in the article here - which we can safely assume was not written by a linguist, given the types of errors that were made. To quote zuludaddy:

The writing of the Business Insider article is so confusing as to be unintelligible. She appears to assign certain native languages to a plurality of language families, gets some pretty basic stuff wrong, while appealing to Latin and Anglo-Saxon root, etc.: "California" does not mean 'imaginary place,' even if that happened to be the name assigned to some imagined utopia. If you have any Spanish or Latin the derivation is apparent. The names that have come from Spanish may have some interesting etymological facts attached, but I assure you the etymologies were not part of the consideration when granting 'official' names. Algonquian refers to a specific confederation of tribes, each of whom spoke a different language, some of which were related. To say something is Algonquian in this context is confusing at best, meaningless at worst. At one point the author informs us Cherokee is an Algonquian language, which it most certainly is not....

This is what I can remember from before my wordnerd rage went white hot. Not really knowing the online etymological dictionary from any other context, I can't say I'm too terribly impressed with the quality control of the info there...

[I'm sure I sound insufferable, but yeah, I did my doctorate in linguistics]

I definitely don't mind learning about the errors - the general climate of the ODeck, I think, is that we all enjoy learning new things, and we definitely want to know if we're getting an incomplete or inaccurate version of something.

Illustration for article titled [UPDATED] Where Does Your States Name Come From?

Christina Sterbenz over at Business Insider has written about the origins of the names of all of the fifty states, the most common origins being Algonquian and Latin. The article includes links to the Online Etymology Dictionary as source material for each name.

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