Monday, September 20, 2010

Time Travel

Tomorrow morning, I realized I forgot to post today. I quickly hopped into my time machine, came back to today, and wrote this post. I had to be careful to avoid my past self. Firstly, an encounter with a past version of me could change my past, creating a paradox. More importantly, however, it would create a rip in the pronoun-grammar continuum: It'd be awkward to tell him/me(?) "Hello! We haven't written a blog post yet, so I can back to tell me to write it."

Douglas Adams was right: Grammar is the biggest barrier to time travel. However, this pronoun scheme might help:
  • Add suffix [-past] when addressing anyone from your relative past in the presence of their present selves
  • Add the suffix [-future] when addressing anyone from your relative future in the presence of their present selves.
  • If you meet two versions of yourself from the relative past or future, add the suffix [-past'] or [-future'] to whoever is from further into the past or future.
For example: If I ran into my past self, I could greet him with "Hello, me-past!" Being a savvy time traveler, the past version of me would realize I'm his future self and reply with "Greetings, me-future!" If a version of me from my relative future showed up, I would address him as "me-future," while I-past would refer to him as me-future'.

Verb tenses, however, are another ball game entirely.

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