The world of anthropology lost a true giant this week in Dell Hymes. I paid my respects to him silently this week as I considered the value of what was simply said – and not witnessed as ‘authentic’ ethnography, according to a client – during a lone research interview that blossomed into an insanely successful metrics bonanza. Hymes’ approach to understanding communication was certainly more complex than words alone, but I did point out in April that, were he dead, he’d be rolling in his grave at those touting authentic ethnography as witnessed, not worded. Word to Dell Hymes. Read his obit in The Washington Post.

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