Xiidigitation (ksi dig TAY shun) – n. The practice of trying to determine the year a movie was made by deciphering the roman numerals at the end of the credits.
I don’t exactly know why, but back in the Golden Age of Hollywood, before we had IMBD, DVDs, or even videotape cassettes, the copyright date was listed on the beginning credits in Roman numerals. It is even a mystery of why all the credits were listed at the beginning of the movie, but then movie crews were not as huge as they are now, and there did not seem to be a need to list everyone from the lead actor down to members of the catering company that served the cast lunch on any given day. For those who are into to movie history and have a keen eye, they must practice Xiidigitation. As to movie credits themselves, the usage of Roman numerals for copyright dates seems to have faded during the 70s, which was also about the time they switched from running credits at the beginning of the movie to the end. Many times these dates were small, and sometimes very long, listing dates like “MCMXLVIII” for 1948. Some dates were even longer. Sometimes this practice is still being used on television since 2000, but it is much easier to fit “MMXI” for 2011 into some obscure little place on the end credits. While screen entertainment in general has moved on technologically quicker than just about any other science out there, it is good to see that we don’t have to decipher some dead language to figure out when a movie was made any more.