Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm so 2010: How to name a decade

December got away from me! I am hoping to blog more in the new year. But resolutions are for chumps, so I won't be putting that tag on it.

As we enter this new year, and a new decade, we're faced with many questions.

What the heck do we call that last decade anyway? The 2000s? The 00's? The aughts?

Even The New Yorker doesn't know what to call it. Time magazine called it the decade from hell. I was just 23 when the last decade dawned, so I don't have much first-hand experience with other decades as comparison. But, I would have to agree that it seemed pretty hellacious at times. It's strange that we didn't arrive at a consensus on what to call the decade as we lived through it. It's even stranger now that it's over.

Other even trickier questions emerge. What do we call the next decade? The British seemed to have hopped on this one faster than the Americans; I haven't found much on the topic other than this Telegraph article that cites an insurance web site survey on what to call the decade that begins in 2010. The winner of this survey? The "twenty-tens." Thrilling!

Wikipedia already has a page for the decade, because there is a Wikipedia page for everything. Examples include your mom, turducken, and Ernie from "Sesame Street." See? Everything.

Another question: How do we verbally refer to the year 2010? Is it twenty-ten? Is it two thousand and ten? I suspect both will be used frequently. I don't think, however, the year will be referred to in retrospect in the same way we did with years from the first decade of the millenium. I have frequently referenced things that happened in, for example, "oh-four" or "oh-seven." I don't forsee anyone looking back on the events of this year and denoting it as "ten."

Time will tell. I'm just hoping we figure out a name for the decade that began in 2000 before the next one is over.

And don't get me started on whether the decade actually starts at 2010 or 2011. Yes, I know there was no "year zero." But no one argued about it when 1989 became 1990. Technically that decade would have spanned 1981-1990. But isn't it just simpler to refer to "the 80s"?

Let's just all agree that it's a new decade and move on, ok?