So far as we can tell， all human languages are equally complete and perfect as instruments of communication: that is, every language appears to be as well equipped as any other to say the things its speakers want to say. It may or may not be appropriate to talk about primitive peoples or cultures, but that is another matter. Certainly, not all groups of people are equally competent in nuclear physics or psychology or the cultivation of rice or the engraving of Benares brass. But this is not the fault of their language. The Eskimos can speak about snow with a great deal more precision and subtlety than we can in English， but this is not because the Eskimo language （one of those sometimes miscalled "primitive"） is inherently more precise and subtle than English. This example does not bring to light a defect in English， a show of unexpected "primitiveness". The position is simply and obviously that the Eskimos and the English live in different environments. The English language would be just as rich in terms for different kinds of snow, presumably, if the environments in which English was habitually used made such distinction important.
Similarly, we have no reason to doubt that the Eskimo language could be as precise and subtle on the subject of motor manufacture or cricket if these topics formed part of the Eskimos' life. For obvious historical reasons, Englishmen in the nineteenth century could not talk about motorcars with the minute discrimination which is possible today： cars were not a part of their culture. But they had a host of terms for horse-drawn vehicles which send us, puzzled, to a historical dictionary when we are reading Scott or Dickens. How many of us could distinguish between a chaise, a landau, a victoria, a brougham, a coupe, a gig, a diligence, a whisky, a calash, a tilbury, a carriole, a phaeton, and a clarence？
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