We have little idea how people talked a hundred years ago.

Graham Robb:

The problem is, do we know how “a human being” spoke a hundred years ago? Even a perfect recording could not restore the familiar backdrop of the time, the contrastingly normal voices in the foyer, the daily pantomime of gestures and expressions, nor, of course, the theatergoers’ notion of what constituted a “natural” performance.

A hundred years from now, though, we will have a record of how we spoke. Not the end of history, but perhaps its opposite.