The Hedges Anachronism Classification System

Classification Definition Examples from Dorothy Dunnett's novels
Class 1 Something happens which could not possibly have happened at that period in history. This includes the quoting, by a character, of poetry or prose which is not yet written (or translated, or available to them) at the time they quote it. Maize grown in Africa pre-Columbus.
Class 2 The characters use modern speech, but presumably there would have been an appropriate equivalent at the time The Dame referring to 'Melodrama', and Lymond calling himself 'Neurotic' in the 1550s.
Class 3 The author uses modern language to describe something which could have happened at the time, but would not have been described in those terms Describing an 'Electric Storm', referring to something as being like a 'steel fence'.



Updated 29 December 2001.
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