Friday, January 01, 2010

Naming the Year

When the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" came out, the title rolled off the tongue so easily. TWO THOUSAND and ONE. It sounded right. It never occurred to me that perhaps that naming was not consistent with other year naming practices, if not downright incorrect.

So, as the millennium approached, and we all began to get caught up in the excitement--or dread--of not only the year changing, but also the decade, and also the century, we all named the year TWO THOUSAND.
When the next year rolled around, I was saying TWO THOUSAND and ONE--like the movie title.

But there was one recalcitrant and obstinate soul who insisted on saying--TWENTY O ONE. Charles Osgood.
Now, I dearly love CBS Sunday Morning. And Charles Osgood is such a wonderfully quirky host--what with his bow ties, his penchant for composing doggerel and his ability to sit down at the piano and play quite skillfully.

But somehow saying 2001 as twenty o one just sounded wrong.
So I persisted with two thousand and one. The next year was two thousand and two. . .and so on until this new year. Charles Osgood pronounced it--TWENTY TEN.

Then I heard other announcers and commentators all saying twenty ten. My insistence on two thousand and ten seemed. . .outnumbered.
So I began this reflection--how does one say certain dates.

The Norma
n invasion of Britain--1066? Ten sixty six. Not ONE THOUSAND and sixty-six. OK.

The last new century--1900? Not ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED.

I am now persuaded. But, still, it just sounds. . .weird.

So, what is it? 2010--two thousand and ten? 2010--twenty ten? Anyone?


Anonymous said...

So--- Anyway you wish. To me the easiest is 20-10 (or twenty ten). Love, Father "C". It gets so laborious writing it out. And how glad I am we don't use Roman Numerals anymore!

Liza Lee Miller said...

I "named" the first years of this millenium as you did because it sounded and felt right. I'll be calling this year 20-10 for the same reason. For the '01, '02, '03 years, I'm just glad we didn't do it the way the 1901 folks did and call them 'aught-one, 'aught-two, 'aught-three. :)

Ginnie said...

I opt for Twenty Ten just rolls off easier to me...but it's an interesting question you pose.

Anvilcloud said...

Twenty Ten sounds right to me -- but not Twenty O One.

amarkonmywall said...

It's twenty-ten. I know this for a fact because, even without the delightful Charles Osgood and other media input, Rich and I argued about it last night. And I said it was 20-10 as in keeping with all other historical dates, as you note. And I won. Because I am always right in arguments with Rich. So there you have it.

Happy, happy 20-10 to you!

Lynne at Hasty Brook said...

It's 20-10 for me!

Happy New Year Donna!

limousine hire said...

Welcome twenty ten not two thousand ten............happy new year...

Peruby said...

First of all - this is WAY too much thinking for a Saturday morning. LOL!

I never thought about it before, but now that you have put this out here, I guess I am going to start saying twenty ten.

I've been with the two thousand ten group, but this twenty ten does seem to make more sense. But not before the decade was up. The single digits were still two thousand one, two thousand two, etc...

KGMom said...

I did not realize how topical my post was--last night's Evening News on NBC had a story--with Brian Williams' wonderfully intoning--about the controversy of what to call 2010.
WOW--I was ahead of Brian Williams on this one, folks.

Mary said...

It'll be twenty ten for me. Easier said than two thousand and ten.

NCmountainwoman said...

I'm going to use twenty ten until I find a compelling reason to change. Can you believe the Y2K hysteria was a DECADE ago?

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

Twenty ten (2010) sounds good to me. You didn't consider two Oh one Oh (2010) of course calling the zero an Oh may be a Canadianism.
two oh, one oh sounds a little like part of a California zip code.

I just hope twenty ten is remembered in history as a pivital date in reversing global warming.

Mario500 said...

I would say "two-thousand ten" to remain consistent since 2001, when I pronounced the year "two-thousand one". This century and millennium has given us a chance to pronounce years differently from the years in the previous century. It was time for a change.

Not only does "two-thousand ten" sound futuristic, it gives me time to prepare the rest of my speech. It also sounds more natural if you were to count from 2000 to 2010 without thinking about the years they represent.

Cathy said...

Donna, I see that your year has been blessed with so much.

Your wonderful father - hail into his 90's.

Beautiful children - their futures bright with promise.

And you, lucky lady - retired from a rich, satisfying career with a husband ready to accompany your transition.

Doesn't get much better than that!

Happy New Year!

Beverly said...

I have thought about Charles Osgood's saying 20-09 a lot lately...I did not want to change from my 2-thousand, but, I guess I is more economical, syllable wise...
Nice post..

Mary G said...

Well, it was nineteen ten, so I guess we are stuck with twenty ten. Sigh. But what are you calling the last decade? I sort of lean to the "naughties'.