- anachronism (uh-NAK-ruh-niz-uhm) noun
1. The error of placing a person, object, custom, or event in the wrong
2. A person, thing, or practice that does not belong in a time period.
[From French anachronisme, from Latin anachronismus, from Greek anakhronismos,
from ana-, (backwards) + khronos (time).]
Anachronism can be of two kinds: parachronism, when the assigned date is
too late, and prochronism, when the date is too early. Even language can
be fraught with anachronism. Imagine a science fiction story where the
protagonist rides a time machine to go back some 500 years. While there,
he comments how "nice" someone's dress is. Well, at that time the word
nice would have meant "stupid". Sometimes anachronism can be unintentional,
a story written in 1970 and set in 2000 that features the USSR, for example.
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