- “The major problem posed by time travel is quite simply one of grammar, and the main work to consult in this matter is Dr Dan Streetmentioner’s Time Traveller’s Handbook of 1001 Tense Formations.”
- —Page 140, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy Radio Scripts: Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases[src]
According to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, the major problem posed by time travel was quite simply one of grammar, and Streetmentioner's handbook was considered the main work to consult in this matter. One of the things explained in the handbook was how to describe something that was about to happen to you in the past before you time-jumped forward a couple of days in order to avoid it.
Streetmentioner's very lengthy and complicated work was of little practical interest to most readers and was to be “as exhaustive as it is exhausting." Later editions saved on costs by only printing the first section of the book up to the section on Future Semi-Conditionally Modified Subinverted Plagal Past Subjunctive Intentional, as no reader had been known to get further than that point in the book.
Unlike the handbook, the Guide skipped over this tangle of academic abstraction, pausing only to note that the term ‘Future Perfect’ had been abandoned since it will have been discovered not to be.
- Chapter 14