walkitout (walkitout) wrote,
walkitout
walkitout

why I don't watch Good Eats

I know, everyone loves Alton Brown. However. The show makes incredibly, unbelievably stupid errors so often that I can't watch it because I don't trust anything I see on the show that I don't already know about, and most of the time I disagree with him if it's a matter on which there isn't a strong consensus.

Here's the latest one, from an episode about pumpkins: a little graphic shows the word pumpkin in a bunch of languages. R. comments, wow, that's not very well conserved. I say, well, it's a new thing. He says, yeah, but pumpkin is from the Greek for melon and _that's_ old. I say, sort of like corn for maize. I have him stop at the graphic, and start digging for etymologies. Calabaza for pumpkin is just like corn for maize: they used a really old generic (probably from Arabic) for a new specific. The Swedish is very similar, clearly derived from the Greek for melon again. The Dutch is a puzzler: graseske. Turns out they got the wrong word -- that means "grasslike", if google translate is to be trusted, and Dutch for pumpkin is "pompoen", another score for the Greek root. The German on the graphic (kuebis) turns out to be spelled incorrectly. No, I don't mean the ue for u with an umlaut over it; that's a legitimate choice. I mean the _missing r_, which would have made it an obvious Latin root, the same place we get curcurbit (again: a new specific gets the name for the generic).

It took a little bit of doing, but they appeared to get the correct Russian word, altho they did transliterate it, which made it tougher to check. One totally incorrect word. One significant spelling error. Both of which make it really tough to see an otherwise brutally obvious pattern to naming. Colored me completely unimpressed -- and reinforced in my negative opinion of the show.
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