Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Twenty Ten or Two Thousand Ten?

This one stuck in FHQ's craw for some reason.

As I drove home yesterday and listened to the "How Do You Say 2010?" story on All Things Considered, I became aware of the fact that I was planted rather angrily in one of the camps. Why does this matter? Oh, it doesn't in the grand scheme of things, but since FHQ is in the habit of typing (and saying while I type -- Yes, I'm one of those people.) 2012 quiet a lot and will only see ramped up use of 2010 in the coming month, it is relevant.

So which camp do you fall in?

I'm a Twenty Ten kind of guy. All I could think of while I listened was that George Orwell's book was Nineteen Eighty-Four, not One Thousand Nine Hundred Eighty-Four. All that's happened is that these "Aught" years have broken us of that Nineteen or Twenty habit.

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Robert said...

Count me in the Twenty Ten camp. I think the nineteen Oh Nine versus Two Thousand Nine is what has people hung up. I feel confident that you and I are on the side of history.

Jack said...

I tend to say Two Thousand Ten, but the Battle of Hastings was fought in Ten Sixty-Six. I wonder if my fellow Two Thousand Tenners would do the same.

Still, you and Robert are completely right. Since Ten Sixty-Six is standard, I'm sure the fact that some people, like me, say Two Thousand Ten has to do with the fact that the year hasn't come yet and therefore usage has not yet been established.

Josh Putnam said...

I just had an email back and forth with someone on the Two Thousand Ten side. He had a different question: We still don't have a name for this decade. Aughts? Aughties? Two Thousands?

And what about next decade? Tens or Teens?

Back to the matter at hand, though: What would George Orwell call his book if it was 2084? Or Prince? What would he have called 2099? Of course, partying like it's 2099 doesn't have the same ring to it.

I'm going back to the way it was when 1999 left us. The tyranny of this decade will end on 12/31/09.

...for me at least. I want my year names back.

astrojob said...

This controversy might last for a year, but no longer. There's no way that anybody's going to call 2011 "two thousand eleven". That's six syllables! Way too cumbersome. People might be split on what to call 2010, but after that, everyone will start using "twenty-xx" for the rest of the century.

Robert said...

I've heard the decade called the Oh Oh decade. Then again we could call it the Ought Nought decade.