The grammar police have a point: you don’t say your birth year is “one thousand nine hundred fifty three” if you were born in 1953. So let’s kick off this New Year right and discard the superflous “two thousand” in our nomenclature for the year. Just say “twenty-ten!”
The National Association of Good Grammar – essentially a guy named Tom Torriglia and some friends who also paid attention in English class – say people have been mispronouncing the year for 10 years.
“NAGG is here to put everybody back on the correct path,” Torriglia said by phone from his home in San Francisco. “We lost the battle when we went from 1999 to 2000 – but now we’re hoping to win the war.”
The “20” should have been pronounced “twenty” all along, he said, pointing out that every year in the 20th century was pronounced “nineteen something.”
” ‘Twenty’ follows ‘nineteen.’ ‘Two thousand’ does not follow ‘nineteen.’ It’s logical.”
Probably the challenge has something to do with Americans hardly ever using the almost archaic term “aught” for “zero.” (And don’t get me started on “zed!” — which means “Z” for pete’s sake.)
“It was never ‘two thousand nine’ for me,” he sighed. “It was always ‘twenty aught nine.’ ”
So the people hawking next year’s car models, the newscasters on TV and anyone else with a reason to say “2010” aloud should embrace good grammar and say “twenty ten” right now, Torriglia said.
As long as one guy gets to make rules like this, I’d like to rule right now on the name of the decade. Many Twits have called the new decade “The Tweens” (too cute) or “The Teens” (not really, since it will be three long years until a year with ‘teen’ in its name). Neither of these works as a name for the entire decade.
The only term that applies to the entire decade? Every year until 2020 begins with One, so it’s the best name.
Please start calling this decade The Onesies, okay?
Update: This Facebook group is dedicated to the proposition that “twenty-ten” sounds cooler. So there’s that.