Sunday, January 02, 2005

Semantics in the New Year

Semantics in the New Year

We're in the year 2005 now.


Want to know something that sounds completely alien to my ear?

When somebody says we live in the year "twenty oh five."

A newscaster was saying it as such this morning. It clunks.

It's not wrong, I guess. It just sounds weird to my ear.

See, I'm saying, now five years into the two thousands, "two thousand five."

I understand the twenty oh five mindset. We spent the nineteen hundreds, and the eighteen hundreds before them, and the seventeen hundreds before them, one would assume, calling the year "nineteen-seventy-four," or "nineteen oh five," or "seventeen seventy-six." Mostly because it would be awkward and time consuming to say that we declare independence on July the fourth, one thousand, seven hundred, seventy-six.

Or that I was born in the year one thousand, nine hundred, seventy-seven. That's eleven syllables. Nineteen Seventy Seven? That's just seven syllables. Much easier.

But we're in the two thousands, now. I'm thinking that that hundreds column is what's alien to my ear. See, if it were 2010, we could say Twenty Ten, and it wouldn't bother me.

But if I say "Twenty Oh Five," it's alien. I think it's the vowel ending "Twenty" and the vowel in the "Oh." That merging of two vowels is hard for my brain to understand. It's why I can't abide Iowa, Hawaii, or footballer Chris FuamatuMaafala.

And we can't call it Twenty-five, and just assume I'll Know what you're talking about. I might think its January 2, 25 AD. And then I'll end up being several hundred years late to work, tomorrow. Don't think my boss will like that.

So. Until 2010, I'll just call it two-thousand five, alright? To cut down on the confusion.

Editor's Note: I was lying. I really like saying "FuamatuMaafala." More than you would ever know.


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