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Anachronism and Anatopisms

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It’s always fun to catch moviemakers’ blunders. Say you’re watching an epic about ancient Rome and spot a toga-clad extra who forgot to remove his wristwatch. That’s an anachronism. But what do you call something that’s geographically incorrect. Take, for example, an exterior shot of what’s supposed to be Dunder Mifflin’s Scranton office, but includes a fleeting glimpse of a palm tree? That’s called an anatopism (accent on the second syllable), from the Greek topos, meaning “place.” For an excellent timewaster along these lines, Grant recommends moviemistakes.com. (Yo, “The Nativity Story”! Everyone knows maize wasn’t grown in Nazareth during the time of Christ. Anatopic FAIL!) This is part of a complete episode.

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