Monday, December 28, 2009

Twenny Ten

The Year We Make Contact With Common Sense...Or Not

It was bad enough when everybody celebrated the beginning of the new millennium a year early in 2000 - rather than celebrating the last year of the old millennium - but when people started calling the years 'two thousand and something' it really, really pissed me off (along with numerous other pedants).

We've always called it 'nineteen' something, or 'eighteen' something. 'Nineteen Eighty Four' for example. 'Eighteen Forty Two'. 'Ten Sixty Six'. So why were we suddenly calling it 'Two Thousand and One'? Why not 'Twenty Oh One'? Like 'Nineteen Oh One' or 'Sixteen Oh One'.

I hereby move a motion to call next year (the last year of the first decade of the new millennium) 'Twenty Ten'. Not 'Two Thousand and Ten'. At the risk of labouring the point, we didn't call it 'One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ten'. Anyway, apart from historical precedent, my preferred option contains fewer syllables. Why wouldn't you do it? In this age of texting and tweeting abbreviations (God help us) it makes sense. Doesn't it?

40 comments:

Mr E Discharge said...

7H@ mAK35 A L07 0F 53N23, 808.
j00 hAv3 My 5upP0r7.

Lewd Bob said...

Thanks Mr E.

That gave me something to work on for around half an hour.

I shall henceforth be known as 808.

catlick said...

Mr 3, do you have a wickedly clever number plate that causes traffic incidents?

Mr E Discharge said...

Joo'r3 MO5T W3lcOm3 8O8.

K4tLIcK, No, I 4vOId T3h t3mpt4Tion, 4lThou9H I dID onC3 trY TO r39I5t3R t3h PL4t3 "6UL dV8" 8uT TH3Y KnOck3d It 84cK. humourl355 845T4rd2!

Mr E Discharge said...

Excuse the typo, I meant "4vOId3d"

catlick said...

Your text is spookily easy to read, not unlike those weird comprehension tests of furiously misspelt words.

Mr E Discharge said...

My profound apologies, Catlick. That was not my intention.

Melba said...

I agree with you 808 BUT I wonder how we know what people said in 1066.

?

They might have said "in this the year of one thousand and sixty-six."

We don't know.

Peabutt Nutter said...

Rather than trying to extrapolate from unrelated years like 1910 and 1066, why don't we follow the much more relevant precedent set in 2010 BC?

Alex said...

I've just been saying O'Nine and hoping nobody would think I was talking about a different century. Seems to be working so far.

patchouligirl said...

I like "twenty ten" it works so well I would have thought it would be the obvious choice.

Its the name of the decade I'm worried about. "the tens" just doesn't sound right. I was never comfortable with 'the naughties' either. What did they call these decades last century?

Puss In Boots said...

I've been calling it twenty ten already. I didn't know other people weren't. Seems the logical choice to me.

Also, in Spanish, you can't abbreviate years like we do. For instance, I was born in mil novecientos ochenta y dos (one thousand nine hundred and eighty two). You can't simply say diecinueve ochenta y dos (nineteen eighty two) in Spanish.

Peabutt Nutter said...

I don't think they looked that far into the future patchouligirl.

Presumably Mr E would pronounce it as 'Zolo', how about we go with that?

Peabutt Nutter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr E Discharge said...

Perseus's dating dilemmas were a lot more entertaining.

Lewd Bob said...

I wonder how we know what people said in 1066

Melba, I said we've always called it this and that. We being modern, twentieth/twenty-first century English speaking humans. Or just those of us that read this blog if you prefer.

My question is therefore why did we suddenly change to saying 'Two Thousand and...'?

Boogeyman said...

Lewd Bob, I think I have a possible explanation for your conundrum.

I find that people tend to mix up 'thousands and hundreds' with 'x amount of hundreds' at will, depending on which offers the least syllables.

Thus, 'nineteen ten' and 'twenty ten' rather than 'one thousand nine hundred and ten' or 'two thousand and ten'.

However, inserting an 'oh' into a number like a date or a time sounds odd and jarring, and people seem to eschew it for the next most number-sounding phrase with the least syllables.

Hence, 'nineteen hundred and seven' rather than 'nineteen oh seven'.

When you get to 2007, 'twenty oh seven' sounds odd, and could also be confused if said quickly with 'twenty seven', and 'twenty hundred and seven' has more syllables than 'two thousand and seven', so the latter it is.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Melba, they probably mumbled something in Latin.

Perseus said...

I can't wait for Ramon's post on 7 November, Twenny Severneen.

Melba said...

Sorry 808, I knew what you meant, I was just being silly/funny.

In addition to Boogeyman's compelling thesis, I would also blame the movie: 2001 (made in 1968). It's all Kubrick's fault, like so many other things in life. Kidman in knickers and a singlet, for example, and Cruise in a cloak.

And I will be calling it twenny-ten even though it sounds a bit crickety.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

I can't wait for Ramon's post on 7 November, Twenny Severneen

Come again?

Lewd Bob said...

I have a history of not getting your jokes Melba. And I don't really see a problem with Kidman in knickers and a singlet. I've seen worse things on a big screen. Or was that also a joke?

And yes Perseus, what?

eat my shorts said...

I'd planned on saying "twenty ten" and now that certain members of this blogging community have asserted the same, I feel justified in my stance.

Mr 3, do you have a wickedly clever number plate that causes traffic incidents?

Speaking of number plates, I saw one on a ute last week that said: 502SLO*.

For instance, I was born in mil novecientos ochenta y dos...

I don't know why, but that sounds hawtt. Even hawtter than French.

*In Tasmania, urban streets have a speed limit of 50kph unless otherwise signposted.

Mad Cat Lady said...

I think i shall regress to saying "in the year of our lord two thousand and ten" - it sounds so much more dramatic

Boogeyman said...

Just impress people* by saying Fifty Seven Seventy Anno Mundi.

* AND pick up hot Jewish chicks.

Dr. Golf said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dr. Golf said...

808, we could use someone like you in the ongoing fight for the international fixed calendar.

13 months, 28 days each (exactly 4 weeks) = 364 days. The extra day is allocated to new years day and is called "day 0". Leap years have two of these. Every date falls on the same day of the week, every year.

Viva le revolucion

Lewd Bob said...

I've always liked that concept Dr G. And my birthday would be in Sol.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

At the height of the French Revolution, they introduced a 10-day week and changed the name of all the months.

This went well until people started saying "wait a minute, we're now working a nine-day week instead of six".

Things got a bit ugly after that.

catlick said...

First Test done & dusted. I expect an inspection of bookmaker's records may shed some light on the opposition's fielding.

catlick said...

...and Tubbs just said..."you are the most winningest..." to Punter.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

There were a few "you've got to be fucking joking" moments there, Catlick.

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

And would it kill you to get your cap fixed, Punter?

AND GET A FUCKING SHAVE, YOU SLOB!

catlick said...

...and after careful consideration, Shane Warne has the commentary shelf life of a ring tone. After 30 seconds he loops to no great advantage; indeed, some detriment.

catlick said...

OMG, Gilligan's Island is on... did no-one at Nein think the Test would finish early?

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

Rowland S. Howard has died.

Puss In Boots said...

EMS, I do think the Spanish language sounds hawtt when spoken by a real Spaniard. Not so much when spoken by me!

Ramon Insertnamehere said...

What do you think of Punter's field placings, Puss.

Bit too heavy on the off side?

Perseus said...

Rowland S Howard... This has made me very sad. I saw him play live earlier in the year (about the 4th time in my life) and he was awesome.

Vale.

Boogeyman said...

Rowland S Howard was still alive?

I thought he died back in the 80s.*

* Yes, yes, I realise that was Tracy Pew, but who didn't look at RSH and think, "you're not looking so fresh either"?