Great Debates: How Should We Pronounce 2010?S

There are some issues people won't shut up about that aren't important. There are some issues people won't shut up about that are important. And then there's this heated issue, which falls squarely in the middle.

It's like how to eat properly at a table. It's good to know in certain situations so you don't look like a complete dumbass, and is something that's sure to come up often. But just like we're lucky enough to eat at tables with lots of ways to eat at them, we've also managed to survive as a civilization until 2010, so does it really matter?

There are going to be many people who pronounce it

"Two Thousand Ten"

and another very large group of people who pronounce it

"Twenty Ten."

This is not like the difference between "ruh-tard" and "ree-tard," as one of those is wrong.

Technicalities of your location and choice of authority on the matter aside, both of these are categorically correct. And there are cases to be made for both, too.

"20-10":

  • It's a shorter pronunciation. It's slimmer.

  • It rolls off the tongue nicely.

  • It makes years like "2017" easier to pronounce, that's for sure.

  • Once we get to 2080, pronouncing it "Two Thousand and Eighty" will just sound kinda medieval.

  • I mean, do you really feel like saying "Two Thousand Seven-Hundred and Seventy Seven" once we get to 2777? Then again, if people aren't spores or robots by then, let that be their problem, right?

  • NY1's resident badass newsperson Pat Kiernan cast his vote for "20-10."

"2000-10":

  • It sounds slightly more like an era of grandeur. There's elegance in this, for the moment.

  • We did it! There's something victorious and whimsical about this pronunciation when meriting excitability and/or pronounced exclamation that we shouldn't deprive people of having.

  • Let's say you live to be 109, you old bastard. And let's say you turned 109 on the first day of this year. Would you rather that year be "20-10" or "2,000-10"?

  • There are no asshole websites like this one advocating it.

  • Welcome to America, land of the free, and that extra syllable is some Manifest Destiny-type ish: ours for the taking.

Yet, the most important majority of people in this situation are the ones who will actually get upset about this, because they should probably be wiped from the planet, as they're basically a succubus of anal-retentivity who will make the universe a more miserable place than it already is. We don't need them.

Like, for example, the National Association of Grammar:

"NAGG has decided to step in and decree that (2010) should officially be pronounced 'twenty ten,' and all subsequent years should be pronounced as 'twenty eleven,' 'twenty twelve,' etc.," proclaims the association's news release. 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 only war they're winning on America is the spiking of our collective blood pressure. Does it really matter how this is pronounced? For the record, yes, after a few years, in more situations that most, you will sound ridiculous saying "Two Thousand Sixteen," like you're Captain Kirk, reading out the stardate, or something.

On the other hand, you'll sound even more ridiculous if you try to correct that person. So don't. Okay?