771: Period Speech
Title text: The same people who spend their weekends at the Blogger Reenactment Festivals will whine about the anachronisms in historical movies, but no one else will care.
The actors on this stage are using language and technology from wildly differing time periods. For example, "Forsooth" is from Shakespearean times; "Grok" is from Robert Heinlein's 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land; "Jive" is African American slang from the 1940s to the 70s; "Me Hearties" is 17th century pirate speak; and "Ten-Four" was popular during the 1970s CB radio craze. Note that one actor is carrying a spear, another has a handgun and another has a laptop computer.
Randall's contention is that hundreds of years from now, people will make similar errors that we do today when depicting historical items and language. Modern movies, fiction and other forms of media that depict history often confuse terms, items and equipment that were in one place and time period and place them in another, but few people notice because to them, all of it fits under the very broad category of "old, historical things" - only those with an interest in history really notice or seem to care. Thus following this trend, in the future, things like laptop computers and "grok my jive" will seem just as historical and "old-timey" as a spear or the saying "Forsooth!", except to those who participate in such things like "Blogger Reenactment Faires", as mentioned in the title text.
For instance, take a suit of full plate armor. To most people, plate armor is a "Medieval thing". So thus, when depicting King Arthur, a figure from 500 to 800 AD (if he even existed at all), one would put him in a suit of full plate because he is "medieval" and that is the stereotypical equipment of a Medieval figure. In actual fact, plate armor only came about after 1350, quite literally centuries after any story about King Arthur is set, and it coexisted alongside firearms for a very long time. King Arthur would have worn chainmail, but all of this would be lost on an average person watching a movie about King Arthur, to whom chainmail and full plate are interchangeable under the label of "historical armor" in their minds. It is not much of a jump from a span of 500 to 800 years of equipment being considered interchangeable to 1500 years of equipment and language being interchangeable.
- [A sword-wielding Cueball on a stage addresses three others; one has a spear, another a handgun and a knife, and the third a laptop.]
- Cueball: Forsooth, do you grok my jive, me hearties?
- Actors: Ten-four!
- A few centuries from now, all the English of the past 400 years will sound equally old-timey and interchangeable.