YUQwest: Y1K

Nik Stankovic (nik@galaxy-net.net)
Fri, 05 Mar 1999 11:00:53 -0800

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>Canterbury, England. A.D. 999.
>An atmosphere close to panic prevails today throughout Europe as the
>year 1000 approaches, bringing with it the so-called "Y1K Bug," a menace
>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
>is simply not enough time left to fix the problem.
>Just how did this disaster-in-the-making ever arise? Why did no one
>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
>dated events will have to be re-written to accommodate three extra
>All tabular chronologies with three-space year columns, maintained for
>generations by scribes using carefully hand-ruled lines on vellum sheets,
>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,
>confirmations to coronations, may be called into question.
>"We should have seen it coming ," says Brother Cedric of St. Michael's
>here in Canterbury. "What worries me most is that 'THOUSAND' contains the
>'THOU,' which occurs in nearly all our prayers, and of course always refers
>God. Using it now in the name of the year will seem almost blasphemous, and
>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,
>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