… invoking Native Alaskan culture, she told the crowd that the ancient Aleut language contained no word for “impossible.” It was a deft play to the state’s strong sense of identity and a direct appeal to native communities, whose support could prove crucial.I had barely started to spew coffee from my mouth before I read the continuation:
It was also inaccurate. The word in Aleut is haangina-lix.
“It’s very clear that you can say ‘impossible,’ ” said Gary Holton, the director of the Alaska Native Language Archive. “Clearly, she wasn’t checking her facts.”Hurrah! A random language myth (created on the fly or known cliche?) dismantled in the press. I guess the 'ancient' part was gratuitous bonus stupidity.
Map from here, the website of the Alaska Native Language Center (where Holton ultimately works).