Clock & taxidermy rabbit at Dave Miller Auction House, St. Cloud, MN, 2018. (Finally, a post appropriate to this photo!)
history practical history pragmatic historian

Historic vs. Historical

Clock & taxidermy rabbit at Dave Miller Auction House, St. Cloud, MN, 2018. (Finally, a post appropriate to this photo!)
Clock & taxidermy rabbit at Dave Miller Auction House, St. Cloud, MN, 2018. (Finally, a post appropriate to this photo!)

A quick blog post for today.

When I was writing my post on the Historical Method, I kept typing the term as the “Historic Method.” When I double-checked the term upon editing and saw that I had gotten it wrong, I got to wondering what the difference was between “historic” and “historical.”

Seems like such an easy thing that a historian/writer ought to know, but there is a slim difference between the two and it can be easy to confuse them. Plus, frankly, I can’t know everything. Thankfully, there are search engines and helpful grammarians who have written articles on the topic.

Both historical and historic have to do with events in the past, but historical refers to any past event no matter how mundane, whereas historic refers to the really big past events.

Think of it this way …

The rabbit hopped into its warren is historical.

The rabbit hopped into its warren and hit a landmine that blew up half of the town is historic. (Not to mention really bad for the rabbit!)

Am I going to remember this distinction into the future? I sure hope so. I don’t want this to become the problem that lay vs. lie is for me.