Twenty 10 or two thousand and 10?

This is my first post of the New Year – and a new decade – so I’d like to start by wishing you a very Happy New Year and the best of everything for 2010.

‘2010.’ How would you say that? As ‘twenty 10’? Or as ‘two thousand and ten’?

That’s the question I asked on Twitter on New Year’s Eve.

Some great replies:

On balance, ‘twenty 10’ is just ahead. I agree with Jeremy, Tony and David: saying ‘twenty 10’ is far better than saying ‘two thousand and ten.’

It’s shorter and easier to say.

So that’s how I plan to continue stating the year when in conversation. How to say ‘2010’ has got an awful lot of people asking the same question. There’s a website plus related Facebook page to support the idea that we ought to say ‘twenty 10’ and not ‘two thousand and 10.’

Will ‘twenty 10’ will catch on as the way in which most people will say ‘2010’? I reckon so although it might take a year or more.

Agree?

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. Boris

    Nah, don’t agree. Remember Stanley Kubrick “2001”? Did anybody, ever, pronounce that as ‘twenty-oh-one’? Don’t think so. We are very used to talk about the year 2000 and I imagine it will take a while until we start talking ‘twenties’. At least until a generation arrives that wasn’t self aware in the ’19’ era.

  2. Rob Safuto

    I pondered this question earlier this week for about a minute. I asked myself, “Did I ever refer to 1999 as one thousand, nine hundred and ninety nine?” Nope. So twenty ten it is.

  3. Allan Jenkins

    A lovely question.

    I was always amused by my grandfathers’ answers when I asked them when they were born:

    “Nineteen hundred and ought two” and “Nineteen hundred and ought seven”

    whereas my grandmothers were/are more crisp: “Nineteen eleven” and “Nineteen fourteen.”

    I always say “Two thousand and five “and I have been saying “Two thousand and ten,” but I suspect common usage will soon be “twenty oh five” and “twenty ten.”

  4. neville

    I think common usage for 2010 and onwards will be “twenty-[year]” and not “two thousand and [year].”

    So “two thousand and five” will still be called that but “twenty ten” and onwards will be like that.

    Think of those examples Allan mentions from the 19s. Saying “one thousand nine hundred and six” is one heck of a mouthful, maybe a reason why it never caught on in the English language (but did in Spanish, for instance). But we say “nineteen oh six” and similar for years in the first decade, and “nineteen-ten” for that year and onwards.

    Can’t see the 2010s+ being any different in English.

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