For the past ten years I have had a question at the back of my mind. Who was it that decided that when the date rolled around from 1999, we would call the new year two thousand? Was there some international committee that decided after 2,000 years we would change the format of what we call the first year in the new century? You do realize that there was no year 0, don’t you? Did anyone ever wonder why the newly revised calendar started with the year 1?
I was all set ten years ago to say twenty hundred. After all, the previous 00 years were sixteen hundred, seventeen hundred, eighteen hundred, and nineteen hundred.
I was really disappointed when the newscasters back ten years ago no longer followed the pattern. I’m sure somebody had to make the final decision. I’m wondering if Stanley Kubrick, who produced 2001 A Space Odessey way back in 1968, was the first person to name this particular year. After all, it was called two thousand one.
I discovered a movement on Facebook. Someone started a “Say twenty ten” fan page. The site was formed 12/24 so it has had a week to gather a bunch of fans. There’s another web site dated back to March that asked the question. Since I updated my IE to level 8, I lost “google” in favor of “bing” as a search engine. When I “binged” there were very few listings. Google had several pages dating back many years.
When looking at the google listings, I quickly realized this conversation has been going on for at least ten years. It is not a new question at all.
What do you prefer? Do you wish to call it two thousand ten since we’ve been using that pattern for ten years? Or did you like the other pattern better? How do you feel about calling it twenty ten?
Some people really get upset about matters like this. I more or less just go with the flow. One site said the calling the years 19 something or 20 something is mainly an American thing to do anyway. They pointed out that in Europe they usually said in the former decade one thousand nine hundred…. especially that was so for those who preceeded the date with “In the Year of our Lord”… Since we started saying two thousand, why was this phrase not uttered in the same time? Was the commenter correct? Do the Europeans say the year differently from the way we do? Since I know no European language it would be difficult to understand what a European said anyway.
Of course we could all convert to the Jewish calendar when 2010 is actually 5770. Or we could go by the Chinese calendar. The date would be 4708. We could do even more with a Chinese calendar. We could start the new year on January 26. That way we would still have 25 more days to debate how we are going to name this year.
Speaking of names, did anyone ever come up with a way of referring to ’00 to ’09? I personally favor calling them the Aughts or the Oughts but then we’ve dropped the idea calling zeros by those names and now just say “ohs” as in nineteen oh five. The English favor their term “Naughts”. Then there are those who claim we just referred to the previous ten years of the last century as the nineteen hundreds.
I guess this isn’t a topic of international importance. However, by now, newscasters have had one entire day to start naming this year. Has anyone heard twenty ten yet? Or are we still stuck with two thousand ten? Just think. It’s a matter of three syllables vs. four. We Americans like to do things the easy way. Think of how much time is wasted saying that extra syllable.
Whatever you call it, I hope this year is a good one for you. Anything has to be better than the year of our Lord, two thousand nine. If you are reading this in the USA, you’ve had one full day on January 1 to recover from New Year’s Eve. If you are around the world, you are already almost done with the day January 2 and entering the night. How’s everything going with you? What are you calling the year where you live?
I hope all your concerns are as minor as this one. I have to admit, I really didn’t have a good idea to blog on today before I saw the fan page of Facebook. I think heavy thinking should be outlawed the first week after all the major holidays we’ve just had.
While I was watching one of the Eve celebrations on NBC, I actually heard “twenty ten” spoken on TV for the first time. Do you think she paid attention to Facebook?
See, I’m as capable of writing fluff as most of the other bloggers out there. Have a good one…day, week, month, year, whatever. Namaste. Attic Annie