'Columbusing': Discovering Something - That's Not New

by
Suzanne Robertson
'Columbusing' is sweeping popular culture. It's just not right.

Heard of "Columbusing"? This video from College Humor hilariously breaks it down for you: 

If you skipped grade school history, Christopher Columbus is the Italian explorer credited with "discovering" America. In actual history, America was first discovered by its indigenous population, and Columbus was not the first European to reach its shores. The Vikings beat him to it. 

As the video shows so well, the new word "Columbusing" refers to claiming that you've discovered a brand new movement, food, dance craze, etc. 

An example: Buzzfeed Food recently posted an article asking "Have you heard about the new kind of pie that's all the rage lately?" They were writing about a hand pie. Exactly like Latin America's empanada

Some other things that have received the "Columbusing" treatment: coconut water, hummus, Afrobeat music, a henna tattoo...well, you get the picture. 

Here are important steps to take before claiming that _______________ (insert anything) has been newly "discovered":

  • Google it 
  • Research the history in other cultures 
  • Admit you're wrong 

You're welcome. 

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