Pronouncing the Year

There’s nothing more annoying than having people mispronounce the year.  It started in 2010 when people actually said out loud, “Two Thousand and Ten” to identify the year.  It’s even worse this year when people say, “Two Thousand and Eleven.”  Here is the correct way to pronounce those years:  “Twenty Ten” and “Twenty Eleven.”  This “proper year pronunciation” is such a big problem that fellow WordPress.com-er Gus Pearcy created a blog — SAY Twenty Eleven — just to set people right; and I have borrowed one of Gus’ images to help spread the appropriate learning meme:

Gus is sort of kidding with his blog in some ways, but I’m deadly serious!  Pronounce the year the right way!  You don’t say, “One Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty-Seven” for the year 1967 do you?  Of course you don’t, unless you have ranch dressing in your hair!

The Boles Blog Network blogs all run on the famous WordPress.com Twenty Ten theme — and there’s you’re first clue that 2010 is, indeed, pronounced “Twenty Ten” because the WordPress.com Gods said so a year ago when that theme made its debut, in the year of its naming, as the new default for millions of blogs:

Over the weekend, we turned on a new theme called Twenty Ten. Twenty Ten is a big deal for us — it’s our first update to the “default” theme (the one you see when you start a new blog) on WordPress.com. Our goal with Twenty Ten was to create something stylish, customizable, simple, and most of all, readable. Since every new WordPress.com user will be seeing Twenty Ten, we wanted to design an example of what a WordPress theme can do — that meant inventing some new features as well as utilizing a few that you may not know about yet.

Everything is in the understanding, the whole is in the memeing, and the year deserves your proper attention and correct pronunciation.  Do it for you.  Do it for clarity and unification.  Do it for a narrow sense of the higher self in an over-enunciated world.

Oh, and yes, the correct pronunciation for the year 2000 was, and still is, “Twenty Aught Aught.”

We thank you.

13 comments

  • David,

    I thought 2000 went according to the Conan O’Brien Sketch — they sang it, “In the YEAR TWO THOUSAND…. in the year two thou-SAAAAND….”

    • I’m afraid Conan is wrong again, Gordon! To sing the year as he did, means he’d also have to sing, “In the Year ONE THOUSAND NINE HUNDRED…” and that’s just totally wrong.

      • Goodness. Honestly this is the first time in 11 years that I’ve even realized that there was any other way to say it. Not that I ever said one thousand nine hundred ninety nine — I think people said two thousand because that was easier than twenty naught naught and then continued from there. At least, that’s what happened for me. Two thousand — two words. Twenty naught naught — three words. Simple minds — love simple things. :)

  • Thanks for the plug, David.

  • Pingback: Saying Twenty Eleven is a slow sell | Say Twenty Eleven, please

  • Mmmm,

    I am going to be the odd person out and tell you that both ways are fine and legal and I wonder if this is just one of those (and excuse my saying it this way…) American things.

    When the dates are spelled out, such as in legal documents it is spelled out as being “Two thousand and eleven”. Though yes I am getting on a bit in age, when I was in school (Harrow – the same boarding school that Churchill boarded at) the argument of how to say the year came up and the answer was both ways, the correct official way and the shorter common-speach version. Thus we all used the “19” but when spelled out in full – which I think is the test – it will be “the year One thousand Nine Hundred and ……”.

    The other test, of course, is how did we say the year 2000? Did we say the year 20 “00”? No, we said it in the full 2000.

    I am not sure how tongue-in-cheek you are about the subject but by saying Twenty Eleven is the “correct way” or “only way” simply fails at an administrative level and unless it is another “American thing” about doing things differently, then at that level is fine but I am pretty sure that the legal, judicial and jurispudence element of your country will frankly agree with me.

    D Charles QC
    Gibraltar
    This thirtieth day of May, Two thousand and eleven

    • Perhaps it is an American thing — I just find it hard to believe that, when asked what year you were born, you’d reply with a number in the thousands. It’s a colloquial argument I’m making, not a legalistic one.

  • Wow, excuse my spelling – rather silly considering the subject – I spent the entire day writing a legal argument in Spanish and well, “desconcierto y profundo”! Please forgive!

  • Perhaps, rather like us Brits getting a bit over-the-top when the mother language…..

  • Pingback: Feeling the Mallet of Ralph Lauren’s Big Pony Line | Go Inside Magazine

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