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 Norman invasion of Britain--1066? Ten sixty six. Not ONE THOUSAND and sixty-six. OK.
The last new century--1900? Not ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED.
OK. I am now persuaded. But, still, it just sounds. . .weird.
So, what is it? 2010--two thousand and ten? 2010--twenty ten? Anyone?