It’s 2010 (that’s “twenty-ten”, thank you)!

What an linguistically awkward decade this has been, moreso than probably any other since the 11th century.  Overstatement?  Maybe. But with regards to years, the last ten have shifted us away from our normal numeric naming system for the first time in our lives anyway.  What is normal you say?

Before 2000, when was the last time years were called by their full numeric phrasing (eg. 2001=two thousand one; 2008=two thousand eight) as they were during the last decade?  Sure, none of us were even a sparkle in our great, great grandparents’ eyes, but I’d venture to guess it was 1009?  We can at least agree based on movies, television and school books, that from 1100 until 1999, the year names were separated into two halves (eg.  1173=eleven seventy-three; 1984=nineteen eighty-four).  Remarkably, it was at least a thousand years minus 10 of people saying ##-## and we still dislodged it with “two thousand”?  Granted, “twenty-oh-oh” or “twenty-hundred” doesn’t quite have the smooth ring to it.

Thankfully, ten years into the century, we’re finally able to go back to what’s normal.  Say it with me:  20-10, 20-10, 20-10!  That’s right!  I was happy to see that I wasn’t the only one irritated by the dichotomy presented in the last decade.  Still, there are a few resisters and likely will be for the next couple years.  But think about these and say them to yourself:

2010 Olympics

The 20-10 Olympics are in Vancouver!

Who'll win the 20-10 World Cup?

There's some sort of Expo in Shanghai in 20-10.

Hopefully you’ll agree with me and end the decade of abnormality.


About seburnt

I own 4C and teach at University of Toronto. View all posts by seburnt

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