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Working with language between A.D. 800 and A.D. 1400 lends itself to a different interpretation of time than, say, computer science. Doing research into historical costuming and craftsmanship on the side doesn’t help, either. NTS laughed at me last night for sputtering when I read about the “ancient” craft of knitting, attested as far back as 11th century Egypt. Ancient? The 11th century? Most of it wasn’t even a millennium ago.


narcissus closeup

At least I’m not alone in this view. There’s always the Long Now contingent, whose projects focus on “not the short now of next quarter, next week, or the next five minutes, but the “long now” of centuries.” (I suggest reading the linked page; it’s a fascinating read and well-written.) And then there are my fellow researchers, who open articles (in 2001) with snippets like this:

Recent trends in Frisian linguistics

This paper presents an overview of the main trends that can be distinguished in
the study of Frisian linguistics since the Second World War…

narcissus field

Yes. Recent.

overexposed narcissus

I suspect that historical linguists have been living in the Long Now for quite some time.