2010: The vital questions.
The most annoying thing about the years spanning from 2000 to 2009 is that there isn’t really a proper way to address the decade in a single word. The ‘Naughties’ has been thrown up by quite a few in the media, but for reasons unknown to me I seem to show hostility towards that phrase.
The real problem, however, is how do we address 2010 and the years to come? Do we say ‘Twenty Ten’ as they do when referring to the World Cup or do we continue the style of saying ‘Two Thousand and Ten’. It seems logical to go for the ‘Twenty Ten’ option as we are bound to continue that trend well into the future (think the Nineties – ‘Ninety One’, ‘Ninety Two’, etc.) however from a consistency point of view the latter choice is perfectly reasonable. ‘Two Thousand and Ten’ may be two syllables longer than its post-modern rival, however mankind has had to deal with those two extra syllables since the turn of the millennium and nobody seems to care. Plus, we all referred to ’07 as ‘Two Thousand and Seven’ rather than ‘Twenty Seven’. That’s six syllables. But did anybody notice? And if you want to get really petty, 2010 is actually the end of the current decade, not the beginning of a new one; when they started recording years they began with year 1, not year 0.
Furthermore a common pattern must be decided on when short-forming the year. During the ‘naughties’ we turned ‘Two Thousand and Five’ into ‘O-Five’, etc. But can we do the same in the coming decade? Do the lazy speak of 2010 merely as ‘Ten’ or is ‘Twenty Ten’ short enough for everybody’s liking? What happens in 2011? Can we nickname that year as ‘Eleven’ or even ‘Leven’ or do we have to go out of our way to say Twenty Eleven – a whopping four syallables, surely far too long for a nickname? Kevin-Eleven has a much better ring to it than Kevin-Twenty-Eleven. Unfortunately Kevin Rudd’s marketing department has no say in how the rest of the world pronounces their years.
Only time will reveal answers to these crucially important queries. Then again, I guess it probably doesn’t matter. After all, the world’s going to end in 2012.