It’s an often repeated myth that Eskimos have a large number of words for snow. 

It’s not surprising the concept, although utter twaddle, gains currency. After all, we would expect people who live in a frozen environment to be able to describe the variations in their world. But if one were to apply that logic to the British, many of whom live to garden, we could expect  a different word for each of the activities of the alpine plant doters, yeomen of the veg, hedge-butchers, topiary wizards, bedding bores, fuchsia freaks, orchid obsessives, lawn nazis, auricula stalkers, rose botherers, cactus weirdos, window-box magicians, allotment alchemists, ornamental grass onanists, narcissi nutters, and people with obsessive snowdrop disorder.

(Mind you I do have a special word for people who buy “dwarf” conifer cuckoos from DIY centres)

But we don’t.

All of which blathering is put much more succinctly in the next ‘diversity’ quote:

“How paltry it is to have only this one word – Garden – to describe so many diverse creations.”

Mirabel Osler

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