[Ads-l] anachronistic antedate

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Wed Nov 16 20:48:46 EST 2016

I don't know if anyone else has checked out "Timeless", the new time-travel show on NBC Monday nights, but it's a good source of data for anyone on anachronism watch.  In the Oct. 24 episode our three good-guy time-travelers pop up in Nazi Germany in 1944, trying to keep the Nazis from trying out a functional prototype of an atom bomb which is about to be bestowed on them by a bad guy time-traveler intent on altering the timeline and in particular the outcome of the war.  They enter a bar where they confront a fellow in a Nazi uniform who turns out (spoiler alert) to be an English spy named...wait for it...Ian Fleming.  ("THE Ian Fleming. That's the dude that wrote James Bond!)  Turns out Fleming really was "an actual spy in WWII--and a good one".  Fleming hears about the scheme and says "At least my intel is finally starting to make sense".  So the OED entry for "intel" ('information, intelligence, esp. of military or political value'), which now only goes back to 1961, can now be pushed back another 17 years, thanks to Fleming.  Who knew?

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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