What shall we call the decade that is ending?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Fraggle Rocker, Dec 27, 2009.


What shall we call the decade that's ending?

  1. The Aughts

    3 vote(s)
  2. The Oh's

    8 vote(s)
  3. The Zeros

    5 vote(s)
  4. The Uh-Oh's

    2 vote(s)
  5. The Oooh's

    1 vote(s)
  6. Something else (see my post)

    12 vote(s)
  7. I have no idea!

    6 vote(s)
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Y2K was a crisis of near-Biblical proportions. Every retired COBOL programmer who could still see was drafted into solving it, once the first insurance policy management programs started blowing up trying to do arithmetic with two-digit date fields left over from the 1970s when computer input was limited to 80-column cards. Short-sighted managers kept putting it off for the next guy, until the next guy was them and we didn't have enough time to review trillions of lines of code.

    After doing triage we managed to remediate the red-blanket systems so nobody died or was simply stuck in an elevator at midnight, but plenty of yellow- and green-blanket systems were left for later, such as my bank's mortgage system, which thought that 2000 had 13 months, my power company's billing system, which couldn't print a bill until June, and the system that prints expiration dates on cases of diet cola, which were indeed expired.

    This kind of chaos was certainly enough to be the harbinger of a new millennium, arithmetic be damned.
  2. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  3. coolplay Registered Member

    I would say the "naughties" aswell
  4. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  5. Neddy Bate Valued Senior Member

    "The two-thousandsies"
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2010
  6. Google AdSense Guest Advertisement

    to hide all adverts.
  7. Gremmie "Happiness is a warm gun" Valued Senior Member

    "What shall we call the deacde that is ending?"


    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

  8. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    i voted "the uh-oh's". more like "the beginning of the end".
  9. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

    Technically there was never a "decade" if you are implying their was a count based upon "units", decades start after 2010.

    The AD date of course would class it the "two-hundredth decade" (since decades mark 10 years, 10 * 200 is.... well you get the picture.)

    Of course an accurate date measurement (if there was one) wouldn't class as as being the end/start of the 201st decade, in fact it would be a somewhat higher figure.
  10. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    The CE/A.D. numbering system for years was invented by Dionysius Exiguus, a Scythian monk, in the year 525CE. His motivation was not to exalt the alleged year of Jesus's alleged birth, and in fact almost all scholars agree that if Jesus was a real person he was born at least a few years before 1CE and the friar got it wrong. He simply wanted to do away with the Diocletian system that was in use at the time, because it honored the memory of a tyrant who had persecuted Christians.

    Over the next few centuries, as the stranglehold of Christianity tightened over European culture in what are now affectionately called the Dark Ages, influential historians and scholars, including the Venerable Bede, a major figure in Anglo-Saxon history, adopted Dionysius's system because at the time it was thought to measure time precisely from the start of the Christian Era. (A careful reading of the New Testament makes it clear that Jesus was also not born anywhere near New Year's Day, when it was snowing in Bethlehem and the tax collectors would hardly have been out traipsing around, but that's another issue.)

    Europe was virtually synonymous with Christendom for more than a thousand years. (Nobody cared much about the Church of the East, often incorrectly referred to as "the Nestorians," which spread all the way to India before the Muslims overran the region.) So the Christian calendar became the standard way of rendering dates. As the Reformation, Renaissance, Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution propelled Europe into its Fifteen Minutes of Fame and European nations colonized much of the rest of the world, the calendar came with them.

    Today even the Japanese, Chinese, Jews, and other peoples with their own calendars uncomplainingly use C.E. dates when communicating with us and with each other, for the exact reason that it is a de facto international standard. However, the identifier C.E. ("Common Era," or "Christian Era" to the diehard Christians), which has always been used by the Jews, is increasingly replacing A.D. (Anno Domini or Anno Domine, "Year of (our) Lord") in other non-Christian nations, and is even making inroads in the Euro-American sphere, for example in secular universities.

    But it doesn't really count anything so don't worry about it.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    It also doesn't have a zero, making it a nightmare for arithmetic calculations. 1BCE (or B.C. to the diehard Christians) is immediately followed by 1CE.
  11. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

    We should call this decade the tens, though that wouldnt be any good. Can someone suggest the alternative?
  12. marv Just a dumb hillbilly... Registered Senior Member

    2000-2009 would be the "tens".
    2010-2019 would be the "teens".
    2020-2029 would be the "twenties".

  13. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    No. The decade 1900-1909 was called "the aughts," back in the day when "aught" was another word for zero. E.g., 1905 was "aught-five." ("An aught" is a misdivision of "a naught." "Naught" means "nothing," so it was pressed into use to also mean "zero.") You wouldn't call your child's first ten years "his tens."
    My parents never told me about any special name for the decade of the 1910s. Probably because half of it was World War I.

    However, to call this decade "the teens" would conflict with grammar, but more importantly also with the way we use the word for ages. "Teenage" is the years from age 13 through age 19: precisely the numbers whose names include the morpheme "teen." This happens to coincide with adolescence, the years between puberty and adulthood, so it's very useful to have a name for it.

    When we talk about "a teen" we mean a person whose age is 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18 or 19. If we start referring to years as "the teens," our brains will automatically exclude 2010, 2011 and 2012 from that list.
    No argument there. 1920 through 1929 were "the Roaring Twenties," a decade of peace and prosperity, sex (women could show their arms and legs), drugs (alcohol, being illegal, became wildly popular) and rock'n'roll (well okay they had earlier forms of jazz but they were just as wild as ours), the Harlem Renaissance, radio, cars, movies with sound, etc. The Depression started precisely at the end of 1929.
    Agreed, as I noted above.
    We may have to wait a little. As far as I can tell, no one has really come up with a standard naming convention for the last decade yet! We older folks tried calling them "the double aughts," but that went nowhere with you young folks.
  14. AlexG Like nailing Jello to a tree Valued Senior Member

    Myself, I'd call it the shit years.
  15. joepistole Deacon Blues Valued Senior Member

    The lost decade seems apropos.

Share This Page