Lexicology

Citing the Century

At the turn of the century, 1999 to 2000, when talking about the new decade we started saying “two thousand” for each year up to “two thousand nine”.  It seems that beginning with 2010 do we switch from saying “two thousand” to “twenty”, thereby shortening the number of syllables needed to identify the year.  It just sounds better saying “twenty ten” than “two thousand ten”.

I imagine this is different from the 20th century when, from the start of the 1900s, people said “nineteen” instead of “one thousand nine hundred”.  (For example, “nineteen oh one”, “nineteen seventy”.)

This is the kind of stuff I think about when I’m not thinking about social media.  Enjoy December 31 two thousand nine.  Next year, it’s twenty ten.

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