Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Besides, the wench is dead
How long ago does a crime need to have taken place in order to be described as "historic"? When the BBC mention cases of "historic child abuse" I think of chimney sweeps and the princes in the tower: then it turns out that the abusers and their victims are still around.

Perhaps this is about the difference between "historic" and "historical"? The first would suggest to me that the cases are culturally significant for some reason, while the second would suggest to me that it took place a reasonably long time ago? Or perhaps I'm reversing the connotations...

In context - a report on the news today, and other similar reports in recent months - it tends to be used of cases that happened a while ago, rather than those that are somehow especially significant (record-breaking? innovative? the cause of the fall of a government? it's hard to come up with measures for significance in this context that aren't at least a bit queasy-making in themselves, since they imply other cases and victims of abuse to be relatively "insignificant"). But I take your point about historic/historical: that ambiguity was one part of what threw me.

Yeah, I agree re "significant." I was thinking about maybe cases that marked a cultural shift in awareness, or a legal shift in what was considered acceptable. I would never want to imply that child abuse itself could be insignificant.

I don't know if there's a specified time after which crime becomes historic, but will ask on FB and hope my Tame Policeman responds....

Thank you!

Yeah, I'm still about f'rinstance, although my abuser isn't.

Historical is a much misused term (okay, I know there's just the weeniest chance I might be biased on that one!)

Edited at 2013-05-02 11:27 am (UTC)

I do worry a bit that the term historic/historical (I've heard both today) has the effect of subliminally communicating the message: "It was all a long time ago, let it go..."


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