Word of the Day: Vaticinate


(v.);  to prophesy or foretell the future; from the Latin vati– (“seer”) + -cin-, combining form of canere (“to sing, prophesy”)

Louisiana, Louisiana, They’re tryin’ to wash us away. They’re tryin’ to wash us away.”

—Randy Newman, from “Louisiana 1927.”

Much has been written on the subject of the human race’s fear of the unknown: from speculating on what happens after we die to relentless attempts to predict the future, from the impact of technology to whether it’s going to rain tomorrow. An October 17th study in Frontiers of Perception attempts to prove that the human body itself can predict the future. And of course, in the age of the e-book onslaught, there are countless annual predictions regarding the future of print publishing. Alas, being human, we don’t always get it right. But once in awhile, a human does get it right. Science fiction titan Sir Arthur C. Clarke attempted to predict the future from 1964: last week, David Wharton revisited his prophetical BBC appearance to evaluate how many of those predictions came true. And of course, there was Randy Newman’s 1974 song, “Louisiana 1927”, written about floods that occurred 50 years previously, but which became an anthem for Hurricane Katrina survivors and relief efforts, with lyrics that felt eerily predictive of the 2005 disaster.

Sara Menuck is currently pursuing BA in English & Professional Writing at York University, Toronto, without being very professional at all. Having interned with a variety of small press publications, she currently works as a prose reader for The Winter Tangerine Review, a department editorial assistant, and, in her free time, a teacher of music to very small, adorable children. More from this author →