You’ve noticed something very important: there’s no natural reason for the words humans use. Any sound could be used to describe a big mammal that eats berries and salmon.
But people who speak English choose “bear.” People who speak Spanish use “oso.” People who speak Maricopa say “maxwet.” They’re all different, but they’re all correct.
That’s what I learned from my friend Lynn Gordon, a linguist at Washington State University.
“Why do we call bears ‘bears’?” she said. “Because we’ve agreed to.”Read More ...