Historic or Historical? That is the Question

As genealogists, we deal with history, so naturally, we use the words historic and historical. Sometimes interchangeably, and therefore incorrectly.

I am a (hopefully) past transgressor of this crime. But through developing better word habits, I think I have overcome this error. If you read through some of my past articles on this website, you may find me to be a prevaricator relating to this offense, but only because I haven’t taken the time to edit past articles using these two words.

Here’s the deal: as genealogists, we are interested in all things historical about our ancestors. In the course of our research, we will find that there are historic events that they either participated in or most certainly shaped their lives.

According to Writing Explained

  • Historic refers to something that is very important or significant in history.
  • Historical refers to something that took place in the past, regardless of importance.

William Safire once said, “Any past event is historical, but only the most memorable ones are historic.”

Hopefully, this helps.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *