From: "F.J. Ted Douglas"
To: "Charles Fox" <foxvideo(a)wincom.net>
Subject: Fw: Y1K Crisis Loomed...
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 1999 14:57:50 -0500
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From: Rev. Iain Macdonald <iain.macdonald(a)ns.sympatico.ca>
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Val Chappel <valchap(a)admin.unr.edu>
Date: January 30, 1999 9:51 PM
Subject: Y1K Crisis Loomed...
Canterbury, England. A.D. 999.
An atmosphere close to panic prevails today throughout
Europe as the millennial year 1000 approaches, bringing with
it the so-called "Y1K Bug," a menace which, until recently,
hardly anyone had ever heard of. Prophets of doom are
warning that the entire fabric of Western Civilization,
based as it now is upon monastic computations, could
collapse, and that there is simply not enough time left to
fix the problem.
Just how did this disaster-in-the-making ever arise? Why
did no one anticipate that a change from a three-digit to a
four-digit year would throw into total disarray all
liturgical chants and all metrical verse
in which any date is mentioned? Every formulaic hymn,
prayer, ceremony and incantation dealing with dated events
will have to be re-written to accommodate three extra
syllables. All tabular chronologies with three-space year
columns, maintained for generations by scribes using
carefully hand-ruled lines on vellum sheets, will now have
to be converted to four-space columns, at enormous cost. In
the meantime, the validity of every official event, from
baptisms to burials, from confirmations to coronations, may
be called into question.
"We should have seen it coming ," says Brother Cedric of St.
Michael's Abbey, here in Canterbury. "What worries me most
is that 'THOUSAND' contains the word 'THOU,' which occurs
in nearly all our prayers, and of course always refers to
God. Using it now in the name of the year will seem almost
blasphemous, and is bound to cause terrible confusion. Of
course, we would always use Latin, but that might be even
worse -- the Latin word for 'Thousand' is 'Mille' - which is
the same as the Latin for 'mile.' We won't know whether
we're talking about time or distance!"
Stonemasons are already reported threatening to demand a
proportional pay increase for having to carve an extra
numeral in all dates on tombstones, cornerstones and
monuments. Together with its inevitable
ripple effects, this alone could plunge the hitherto-stable
medieval economy into chaos.
A conference of clerics has been called at Winchester to
discuss the entire issue, but doomsayers are convinced that
the matter is now one of personal survival. Many families,
in expectation of the worst, are
stocking up on holy water and indulgences.
Charles E. Fox
Chas E. Fox Video Productions
793 Argyle Rd. Windsor N8Y 3J8 Ont. Canada
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