Language Lab: Arachnanachronism
The appearance of a carnivorous arthropod having eight appendages and no antennae nor wings outside of its correct historical period or chronological existence, whether occurring in fiction or a reality affected by time travel.
The appearance of Kenneth Branagh piloting a giant, steam-powered spider in the late 19th Century in the movie Wild Wild West is an arachnanachronism, as such a device would not be plausible until at least 1912 when the manufacturing process that was invented along with Life Savers candy also yielded a procedure by which a donut-shaped device could house a ball bearing, and mechanically reproduce the articulating leg joint (or “spider knee“) of such a creature.
The fictional account of an irradiated spider infecting a young Peter Parker during an exhibition at the 1939 World’s Fair in an arachnanachronism on two accounts, first being that Spider-Man first appeared in 1962, and the possibility of a nuclear demonstration capable of irradiating a spider would not exist until at least 1944.
The appearance of a carnivorous arthropod having eight appendages and no antennae nor wings outside of its correct historical period or chronological existence, whether occurring in fiction or a reality affected by time travel, in the region of Persia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The statement “Alexander The Great fell ill while in Babylon in the 4th Century BC, after being plagued by disease resulting from deer ticks” contains an iraqarachnanachronism, as deer ticks were not identified until the early 20th Century in North America, and though deer themselves may have existed during the 4th Century BC on the other side of the world, even then, they would have been “watakatonka.” However, as some evidence suggests Alexander The Great died of Lyme Disease, this may prove to be inaccurate, as in recent years it was discovered that Lyme Disease was caused by its spread through the deer tick, not (as it had been traditionally assumed) through limes.
Dwayne Johnson, in The Mummy Returns, makes a deal with Anubis to trade his soul for the chance to carry out vengeance on his enemies. When Anubis takes control of this warrior he creates an iraqarachnanachronism by transforming him into a scorpion-monster which we all know had not been created at that time. The scorpion-human hybrid was not technically created until 1988 in a laboratory in Sri Lanka.
Please help us expand the real-world usage of these new words by citing examples from everyday conversation in the comments area. And, as always, we welcome corections and/or addendae as well.
Posted on November 18, 2010
English, possibly Dutch
This is a proposed new addition to the language, and, as such, its use has been neither tested nor approved. Any usage of this word in conversation or written form resulting in derision or injury is in no way the responsibility of ThunkTV or its affiliates or their respective affiliated affiliates irrespective of affiliation.
Originally published at thunk.tv.