Your Dictionary Word of the Day: Anachronistic

Posted: December 30, 2009 by thesundowner in Uncategorized

Subject: Your Dictionary Word of the Day: Anachronistic

Anachronistic (adjective)

Pronunciation: [uh-nak-ruh-‘nis-tik]

Definition: In the wrong time, chronologically inaccurate, containing an anachronism.

Usage: An anachronism is something that is out of its historical time period; therefore, if something is anachronistic, it appears in the wrong temporal context. Does that blow your mind? If so, try blowing others’ minds with it by insisting that famous works of art are anachronistic. “The Mona Lisa couldn’t possibly have been painted by Da Vinci. She’s wearing an anachronistic watch and holding an iPhone.” Or, “If Shakespeare really wrote this, what’s with the anachronistic reference to the flux capacitor in Act II, Scene 3?” You’ll eventually be proven wrong, of course, but the fun could last for hours. Remember, the word is not to be confused with anarchistic, which is an act of anarchy that can occur in any time and place.

Suggested Usage: Anachronisms are most evident in carelessly filmed movies and works of literature that have not been sufficiently researched. Chronological flubs appear on the silver screen all the time, such as the Post-It notes visible in Almost Famous or the 1980s maps used in the Indiana Jones’ films. Look for anachronisms yourself; you’re bound to find some.

Etymology: The word anachronism comes from the Greek anakhronismos, a combination of the prefix ana (meaning against) with khronos, which means time. In Ancient Greek, the word anakhronizo, which bears a very close similarity to our phrase anachronism, literally means “of the wrong time.”

Your Dictionary Editorial Staff


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