by L. Sprague de Camp
First publication: Astounding Science Fiction, Jul 1938
This essay convinced me to add at least a few nonfiction works to my list. After all, why not? De Camp interleaves a few fictional vignettes with thoughts on how language might change over the next few centuries. For me, it shows how well the time-travel paradigm had been established by 1939.
As a bonus, this essay appeared in the very issue of Astounding that has the final installment of The Legion of Time and which caused all the trouble in my story “Saving Astounding.”
Wah lenksh? Inksh lenksh, coss. Wah you speak? Said, sah-y, daw geh-ih. Daw, neitha. You fresh? Jumm?
L. Sprague de Camp, Master Traveller
Even before de Camp produced the award winning Lest Darkness Fall, my Grandpa Main had identified him as a Master Traveller based on “Language for Time Travelers,” which was the first of many de Camp essays. Appropriately enough, de Camp’s enjoyable autobiography is titled Time and Chance.