Twenty twenty… or maybe not

In the last century we referred to each year as nineteen something, from nineteen hundred, right up to nineteen ninety nine.

In this century we’ve started off by calling the years two thousand and something, with the current year being two thousand and seven. Will we continue this for the whole century, right up to two thousand and ninety nine? Or will we switch over to calling them twenty something at some point? If so, when?

Will it take a celebrity trailblazer to convince everyone to say twenty twenty rather than two thousand and twenty?

While we’re on this subject, think of a car that weighs 2,100 pounds. In the UK most people would say that the car weighs two thousand one hundred pounds (or more likely kilos or tonnes, but leave that aside for the moment). In the USA they’d say that it weighs twenty-one hundred pounds. Why the difference? Will this affect what each country calls the years?

Leave a comment if you have any thoughts!


3 thoughts on “Twenty twenty… or maybe not

  1. It’s already happening. Once we get past 2009, it’ll be twenty-ten. The Olympics are happening in twenty-twelve. I don’t know anyone (and I work in the borough where it’s all happening) who refers to it as two thousand and twelve.

    Have you noticed that in radio ads particularly, the dates are referred to as “Feb twenty”, instead of “February the twentieth”. And more and more ads on TV (I’m thinking of sofas and electrical goods) have prices that are announced as “down to two nine nine”, instead of “two hundred and ninety nine pounds”.

    Not that it’s important, really, as I’m in danger of sounding like a grumpy old man.

    Oh, and films are now movies, especially amongst the younger generations. And so it goes on ….. :(

  2. Most newsreaders (and everyone else I hear talking about it) are still calling it the two thousand and 12 Olympics though, so they haven’t caught on yet.

    I was thinking about the previous millennium, and there is a precedent there with 1066 (ten-66).

  3. In matters of language, laziness tends to rule – especially in this country! Twenty-twelve is 3 syllables. Two thousand and twelve is FIVE syllables. Think what other rubbish one could be spouting while wasting time saying those two extra syllables!

    What was Clarke’s sequel to Two Thousand And One called? I THINK it was referred to as Twenty-Ten but I may be wrong. And wasn’t there a 2020 as well, which because of our familiarity with 20:20 vision will probably where the final changeover will happen.

    I think anyway they should have started again at 2000 with a global date. I know there are secular versions of BC and AD, namely BCE and CE for Before Common Era, but it matches the Christian dates, so is still tainted. Mind you, maybe the world isn’t ready to start again. I’ve got an idea: when there’s been nobody killed in the world through act of war or rebellion for a period of ten years, then we could start again with the year 01 AP. After Peace.

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