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when I'm done, I'm going to tell the kids to get off my lawn, too. - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
July 12th, 2007
09:28 pm

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when I'm done, I'm going to tell the kids to get off my lawn, too.
Sign me up for geezerhood.

Linguistically, anyway. So, when the year 2000 rolled around, I think we all pretty much agreed that the way to pronounce that was "two thousand". And then, most people, but especially folks who read Arthur C. Clarke at a formative age, went on to pronounce the next year "two thousand and one". A few people pronounced it "twenty oh one". Not many, though.

I'm pronouncing this year "two thousand and seven", and nobody thinks less of me, at least nobody has stopped in their tracks and commented on what an odd phrasing I chose. Yet.

I heard on the radio recently mention of a transit project that's due to be finished in "twenty oh nine". Gah. In a sense, it's fine, because I know what the guy meant, but it still grates on my ear.

And the sad thing is that I know I'll be in the minority the year after that (Arthur C. Clarke sequel notwithstanding) - I'll call the year "two thousand ten" or "two thousand and ten", while most young whippersnappers will be calling it "twenty ten". Sure, that's consistent with the phrasings we used in our youth, but "nineteen ten" somehow grates on my ear much less than "twenty ten". I don't know, maybe it's the whole optometry resonance. So "Two thousand and ten" for me, thanks.

(And nobody will be calling it MMX, in part due to Intel protecting the use of the trademark.)

And as the years go on, I'll grow increasingly isolated - one man using four syllables when two would do (take that doubleyou doubleyou doubleyou dot whatever dot com forward slash something dot aitch tee emm ell).

Maybe it won't matter, because in a few years, we'll all be speaking Esperanto.

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From:tsmaster
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:24 pm (UTC)
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"oh seven" or "two thousand (and) seven" for me.

Every now and then, I'll listen to BBC radio, and it bugs me when they describe stock market moves as "naught point three", which sounds much more to my ear like "not point three" - are they saying "not even as much as point three"?

Oh, well, I guess they can speak their language however they want.
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From:progrium
Date:July 13th, 2007 09:48 am (UTC)
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I'm not sure why I didn't realize there were two approaches to this. At this point it seems like "twenty oh seven" is not a bad way to pronounce it. I don't pronounce it that way, but I'm not sure why you don't like it. To me it'll be more convenient after 2010 since it won't require a silly "oh" to prevent it from being ambiguous.

I don't know... I think you've just inspired me to start saying "twenty oh seven"...
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From:tsmaster
Date:July 13th, 2007 03:01 pm (UTC)
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I'm not sure why you don't like it

Yeah, me, either. Right now, "twenty oh seven" is a weird mishmash of words that resolve more to sounding like a caliber of a gun than a year. And "twenty twenty" is a good score on an eye test, not a year.

There's not any logic to it, it's just the way the words fit together in my brain.

I don't know what sounds best to me for the turning of the next century - "twenty one hundred" (sounds like military time) "two thousand, one hundred" (consistent with my preference for "two thousand ninety nine", but wordy), or "twenty one oh oh".

Here's hoping medicine will have advanced to the point where I have to worry about what to call 2100 in the year 2100.


Come to think of it, the first computer game I bought as a wee lad was "Miner 2049er" for the Apple ][. Even then, "twenty fourty nine" sounded weird to me, so I preferred the "two thousand fourty nine" phrasing, and it probably stuck with me ever since.
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From:ursa_minor
Date:July 13th, 2007 10:33 am (UTC)
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You are not alone. It grates on my ear, too, to hear our morning newscaster say the day with "twenty-oh-seven." I always feel compelled to correct him. But, of course, I never did with "nineteen ninety-nine" or similar. I think it might be because "two thousand" rolls off the tongue so much more easily than "one thousand nine hundred," so come on - why can't we call it what it is? :)
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From:tsmaster
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:31 pm (UTC)
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Perhaps part of it is that "two thousand" sounds all futuristic and spacey, and if I can't have rocket cars and commuter trips to the moon and Mars, I can at least live in a world with a futurey-sounding year.

For a while, people were anxious about what to call the decade from 2000-2009. Perhaps because we have no good word, it seems like there hasn't been much discussion of the decade. (Probably, though, we've been using the phrase "since nine eleven", which covers the time period and more closely fits with what people tend to want to talk about.)

My suggestion has been "decade zero" for those years, but it doesn't seem to be catching on.
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From:ursa_minor
Date:July 13th, 2007 05:52 pm (UTC)
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I guess that's where I break with my own argument - I've been calling this decade "the o's!"
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From:indygoddess
Date:July 13th, 2007 12:29 pm (UTC)
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I'm going to get even more pedantic on your ass and chime in with, it's incorrect to say "two thousand AND whatever"... it should be "two thousand whatever" if that's the route you're going to take - the *and* signifies a decimal place, technically.

I've been hearing a lot more of "twenty ten" and such, not so much with the "aughts" though. I suppose by that reasoning, we're in the "twenty hundreds", like we were in the "nineteen hundreds", except the latter makes sense and the former doesn't. By that reasoning, the number after 99 would be "tenty" :)
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From:tsmaster
Date:July 13th, 2007 02:00 pm (UTC)
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A decimal place? I've never heard that.

"Point", yes. As in "three point one four". "Dot", if you want to sound like English isn't your first language, or if you've spent too much time on the web.

If we're talking fractions, then it sounds right, "five and two thirds" "seven and a half".

But I don't have any problems with "three million and two" meaning "3,000,002" and not "3,000,000.2".

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