Week 7 Historical Timeline Post

In my timeline, I decided to delve into the fascinating progression of the English language, from its early roots in Old English to its current status as a global lingua franca. I chose this topic for its broad appeal and significant impact on global communication, literature, and culture. The English language’s rich history reflects a tapestry of invasions, cultural shifts, and technological advances which I think can be underappreciated and underrepresented in an academic context. While constructing a timeline on this topic using Knight Lab’s TimelineJS, I encountered some challenges, particularly around organizing dates and embedding the timeline into WordPress.

One notable issue was organizing historical dates. For example for dates spanning from AD (Anno Domini) this became quite a hurdle. TimelineJS requires numerical dates for its entries, and it does not support the inclusion of “AD” in the date fields. This limitation can be confusing, as our timeline stretches over centuries which involve dates that are traditionally annotated with AD. To overcome this, I had to ensure each date was entered as a year-only format, maintaining chronological accuracy without the AD notation. It’s a workaround, but ideally, future versions of TimelineJS should accommodate more historical dating conventions to enhance clarity and historical accuracy.

Embedding the timeline into a WordPress post presented another challenge. While TimelineJS is an excellent tool for creating interactive timelines, integrating them into WordPress did not seem to work at all even after following the instructions and using their own embedded link! After some research and trial and error, I found that the best approach was to use the provided iframe code from TimelineJS and insert it into the WordPress post’s HTML editor. This seemed to do the trick!

Despite these challenges, creating this timeline has been a cool experience. Once you got familiar with the google spreadsheet rules and format it became quite simple to edit. It really offered a visual and interactive means of understanding the English language’s evolution. I hope this timeline serves as an educational tool and sparks interest in the historical underpinnings of our modern communication.


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