Video of the Day: Verbal Anachronisms in ‘Downton Abbey’


When it comes to World War I-era verisimilitude, Downton Abbey sure looks authentic. But what about the dialogue? We’ve certainly caught the characters using phrases that sound awfully contemporary — and we’re not the only ones. Linguist and writer Ben Zimmer has also noticed some anachronistic usages on the show, from “I’m just sayin'” to the use of “contact” as a verb, and has made a short video compiling his observations. For those who are curious to hear more about language on Downton, Zimmer will be discussing it in both the Boston Globe and in his Visual Thesaurus column, “Word Routes.”

[via Lapham’s Quarterly Tumblr]