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When Do We Start Calling Years 'Twenty-Somethings'? Answered

Dan Gillmor of Boingboing.net has posed a somewhat controversial question; "When do we start calling years 'Twenty-Somethings'?"

21st century hotel dg09.jpgOn an NPR newscast the other day, a reporter pronounced the year 2012 as "two-thousand-twelve" while someone he interviewed called it "twenty-twelve." I'd have gone for the latter, but the different choices made me wonder when we're going to give up what we've been doing this entire decade, clumsily calling everything "two thousand something," and move to the style we used during most if not all of the last century.

Wait, it gets more complicated. We have to think about the names we use for centuries, too. The 20th Century was also the nineteen-hundreds. But in the 21st Century, are we in the two-thousands? That sounds off, but the twenty-hundreds sounds totally wrong.

Via Boing Boing.

Its a great post, and I wonder your thoughts?


I say twenty fifteen...

Controversial? Maybe to the type of hipster doofus who agonize over whether or not to get the schmear or the lox on their artisan bagel.

2010 I guess, but I think it sounds weird to say twenty-eleven.

so we say start at 2010, then call 2011 two thousand eleven, and then all the other ones are twenty somethings?

What i think is messed up is that the century number is ahead of the actual century year. Last century was 1900, and it was called the "twentieth century". sup with that?

As everyone else has been saying, but applying it more personally, think of it this way: you were born, and your first year of life is lived from birth to the first birthday, and so the day after your first birthday, you are living in the second year of your life, even though you are only one year old.

1900 was actually the end of the 19th Century. 1901 starts the 20th Century. Things get messed up when you start counting and there is no year zero in the calendar system; 1-100 is 1st Century, 101-200 is 2nd Century, 201-300 is 3rd Century...and so on.

Though it does make some sense because 1-100 is the first 100 years in the Common Era and 101-200 is the second set of hundred years in the Common Era.

IMHO, the statement that: I'm going with the twenties starting next year: twenty-ten, twenty-eleven and so on
makes the most sense to me. My reasoning is, that 20-9 sounds like 29 rather then 20-0-9, the actual year. So, it is two-thousand nine, until we have double digits in the tens and singles columns ;-) then we start with 20-10, etc. The same goes for if we make it to 2100. It will sound as bad to say 21-9 as to say 29

I have heard people say "twenty-oh-nine", which just sounds wrong. However, I don't think you have a choice with "twenty-one-oh-nine". Living in San Francisco, I don't really have a problem with it (remember "nineteen-oh-six"?).

Actually no, I don't remember 19-0-6 as I wasn't around at the time LOL

Seriously, yeah I agree. I just meant that after 09 would be when many would "switch to the twenties and would consistently say 20-something.

twenty oh nine sounds freaky, when we get to 2010 ill say twenty ten. Good post btw, got me thinking

At least now you can say "two thousand and " instead of "one thousand nine hundred and " *shrug* Some food for thought, I guess.