January 16, 2014

BECAUSE WE AREN'T FRENCH?

Why So Few English Words for Odors? (Jessica Love, 1/14/14, American Scholar)


The English language has many words for colors, and many more--checkered, mottled, paisley--describe how they may be patterned. Tastes are also well represented: a latte can be sweet or bitter, rich, or bland. Words like smooth and ticklish and hot all depict how the world feels on our fingertips. And from musical terms to onomatopoeias, our language does not skimp on ways to describe sounds.

But--though I can't say I'd ever noticed before--there's something of a lexical void when it comes to words for smells.
Posted by at January 16, 2014 6:15 PM
  
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