What year is it?

Gosh, Christmas seemed to fly by with all the weeks of preparations disapperaing in what seemed to be ten minutes flat, with me failing miserably to blog at all over the festive period.

Despite the absence of any posts, I was laid in bed in the early hours of the morning the other day having one of those really strange thought processes that can only appear in the dead of the night.

It occured to me that we are changing the way we pronounce the year in this country as a result of the last millennium. Historically we have announced the date in hundreds rather than thousands which is the norm in many other nations. For instance, 1910 wasFather Time “nineteen-ten” to us and typically “one thousand, nine hundred and ten” to, let’s say, the Spanish. Previously we had “nineteen oh-eight” whilst our continental friends more often used “one thousand, nine hundred and eight”, and so on.

Then suddenly as the last millennium approached, people in the UK began talking about “the year two thousand”, or just “two thousand”. It had to be so, because saying “twenty-hundred” just sounded wrong.

Now, I expected once we moved away from the year of 2000 itself that people would revert to saying, for example, “twenty-oh seven”. Some did, but most stuck to “two thousand and seven”. Why not I say, it does after all come to the tongue more easily.

So then, the next big date would be 2010, when it would surely be easier and more historically familiar for us to say “twenty-ten” rather than “two thousand and ten”? Well, as it gets nearer, I have heard quite a few people referring to 2010 and as yet not one has reverted to the older, more familiar format. Everyone that I have heard) seems to be saying “two thousand and ten”.

It remains to be seen whether our verbal reference to the date format has been changed forever by the millennium. In the mean time, my brain goes on in its never ending search for weird things to think about when I’m trying to get to sleep at night!

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6 responses to “What year is it?

  1. Nice observation. Language has always been very dynamic.

  2. I would say twenty-ten 🙂

  3. Yeah, I’d say twenty-ten too.

  4. Yeah, it’ll be twenty-ten. Consider this analogy:

    NO. OF SYLLABLES:

    1999
    One thousand, nine hundred ninety nine (9)
    Nineteen ninety-nine (5)

    2000
    Two thousand (3)
    Twenty hundred (4)

    2001
    Two thousand one (4)
    Twenty oh-one (4)

    2010
    Two thousand ten (4)
    Twenty-ten (3)

    2011
    Two thousand eleven (6)
    Twenty-eleven (5)

    ..as you can see, this analogy proves that it makes more sense to use “two thousand” until 2010, at which point everyone would logically switch to “twenty”.

  5. You are all mad.

  6. twenty ten ere also
    cool pic of old father time btw

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