I am not sure what you call them exactly. I don't think it's a plot hole, because it's not related to the story itself.

Let me give you an example:

Let's say your novel is set in Italy, but everyone speaks German or English.

Is there a specific term to this?

  • 2
    What to call the fact idk, but the setting is an alternate reality. If everyone in Italy speaks German, the Allies must have lost.
    – Mazura
    Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 2:14
  • 1
    Maybe, an anomaly Commented Mar 3, 2019 at 9:58
  • 1
    Asking for a general kind of word is off-topic but might be suitable on English Language & Usage, whereas if you mean a specific kind of word relevant to writing, then your question should be closed as unclear. Commented Mar 4, 2019 at 0:08

2 Answers 2


Your example is an anatopism, just as everyone speaking Latin would be an anachronism. But more generally, I think you're interested in incongruities.

  • Cool, I was really wondering if it was just a plothole. Guess asking the question was a good idea.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 16:50
  • It's weird that it's not in the figure of speech or even in the narrative technique subsection.
    – Sayaman
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 17:03
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    @repomonster English has a word for nearly everything, but you can never be sure what Wikipedia will tell you about it.
    – J.G.
    Commented Mar 2, 2019 at 17:04

I'd go with inconsistency; to be even more specific, I'd say the worldbuilding is not consistent or poor.

I second J.G. in saying that you're interested in inconguities at large.

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