Monday, January 2, 2012

The name of the year

Ben Zimmer on what to call the new year: Twenty-what? Two thousand who? (Boston Globe ).

For much of the twenty-first century, the appropriate way to say the name of the year has been the subject of ongoing talks in my family. And as they say in the world of diplomacy, the talks have been frank. Me, I’ve been starting with twenty- since 2001.

comments: 3

Anonymous said...

"...twenty hundred thousand times more joy..."

Friar Laurence
Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
Act 3, Scene 3

normann said...

You're in good company. Swedish radio and TV has been doing the same as long as you have, consistently saying tjugonollfyra, i.e. twenty zero four, for 2004, etc. I must confess to vacillating between styles until 2010, after which I have been solidly in the twenty camp, even when referring to the Noughties.

Michael Leddy said...

Anon., thanks for bringing Shakespeare into consideration.

Norman, your presence would be welcome in our talks. I’ve never been able to persuade anyone in the family that twenty- is preferable. Again and again, they invoke the dreaded name Kubrick.