One of the key concepts around which my artistic work and identity as “Timespun Threads” revolves is that of the juxtaposition, blending or otherwise combining of elements of disparate chronological eras or time periods. Considering that this process is far from unusual in various branches of culture and the arts - not least in architecture, where numerous ancient buildings have been adapted and augmented over the centuries, each age contributing to the whole in its own distinctive vernacular - it seems surprising that there has, up to now, and as far as I can ascertain, been no self-contained word in English to denote something that is “of, belonging, or pertaining to more than one era or time period”.
To occupy this linguistic lacuna, I propose the following candidate: “multiæval”. This indeed appears, thus rendered, to be a new word, or practically so at least: its sole prior appearance as such in a Google search arose from a discussion in an “English Language & Usage” Internet chat room in May 2020, where one participant playfully suggested it as an amalgam of “multimedia” and “mediaaeval” [sic]; no real definition was provided, and the subject was swiftly dropped . However, as a combination of “multi” (“many” or “more than one”) and “aeval” or “eval” (“relating to time or duration”, from the Latin aevum meaning “lifetime, age, eternity”) , “multiæval” is built on a firm etymological foundation, following the pattern of such established terms as “multiracial” and “mediæval”. Similarly, we could also have “monoæval” (of, belonging, or pertaining to a single era), “biæval” (two eras), “polyæval” (many eras), and “panæval” (all eras).
It should be mentioned that, just as “mediæval” is often spelt “medieval” without the “a”, “multiæval” might legitimately be rendered as “multieval”. However, since the latter version has a pre-existing, albeit arcane, meaning (“evaluation of multiple metrics and predictions”, in the context of computer programming) , and is also the name of a human resources firm based in Mexico , I have chosen to go with the more archaic rendering, with the “æ” diphthong, to avoid any potential confusion.
Anyhow, I have formulated a new Timespun Threads design, based on this my contribution to the English language, which spells it out in characters from a variety of fonts, each evocative of a distinct era, ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. The graphic - now available to purchase on the full range of products from Redbubble and Teepublic (including T-shirts and other apparel, phone cases, stationery, homewares and more) - comes in two different versions: one incorporating a dictionary-style definition, the other having just the word on its own (plus a degree of conversation-kindling potential!) By the way, the copyright notice applies only to the design as an artistic work, and not to the word itself, which anyone is henceforth free to use without payment or attribution.
“Multiæval”, spread your wings and go ye forth into the world!
REFERENCES (all accessed 05 Jul 2021):
(Edited 06 Jul 2021, to correct a minor inaccuracy in the text)