Monday, January 4, 2010

The Naughts Are Over and Done

Lately there seems to have been a bit of an outbreak of the assertion that the last decade did not end on December 31, 2009, and that it will still be with us for another year. I posted a reply on the topic on a post on Arsen Darnay's LaMarotte blog (Getting the Calendar Right) and thought I'd share it here:

A year left to still accomplish goals for this decade? Too late. There may still be a case to be made on the century score, but the Naughtful Naughts -- that kidney stone of a decade* -- are done. We identify decades by the decennial number, thus the Sixties, the Seventies, the Eighties, etc. You won't hear much argument that 1980 was part of The Seventies, even if Disco was still running strong.

Fortunately, there's a simple solution for those who feel themselves bound by two-hundred consecutive ten-counts. The first decade had just nine years, years 1 AD through 9 AD. Heresy? Hardly, in a calendar system that throws in an extra day once every four years, an occaisonal leap-second, and that once even lopped seventeen days out of the calendar altogether.

*They were painful, and we're glad they've passed.


  1. I've answered your comment on my blog, but I liked it so well I think I'll repeat it here:

    To wit:

    This produces an interesting–even if not in practical matters a particularly meaningful–situation. You will spend this year in the teens (is that the word to use?) and I will spend mine in the naughts. I don’t have the Lions to mourn for–or any hopes that they’ll do vastly better in the, for you, new decade!

  2. Ah, but I get to put an entire record-breaking decade of Lion futility behind me and move on to a brand new decade ... of record-breaking Lion futility.

  3. I think we're in "The Tens" for the next few years, but then will probably switch to "The Teens" in 2013, and put the horrid inconvenience of the years 2010-2012 behind us as if they were a Matt-Millen draft pick.

    Heck, we never figured out what to call the last decade, so why should we know what to call this one right away, either.