Wednesday, December 31, 2008

new year, 2009

I can remember going to the 1964 World's Fair and, as an impressionable youth, enthusiastically embracing the promise of the many marvels that were sure to be mine for the asking by the turn of the millennium. So, years later, when 1999 rolled into 2000 I started wondering. . .
"hey! Where's my flying car?"

Anyway, moving from "Unisphere" to "Blog-o-sphere" for this New Year, the internet is replete with retrospectives, rants and reviews of 2008. . .
Notice how we pronounce that, "two-thousand-eight"; and tomorrow, with really few exceptions, most of us pronounce 2009, "two- thousand-nine". But 100 years ago we would have pronounced 1909, "nineteen-oh-nine" (much less of a mouthful than saying "one-thousand-nine-hundred-nine"). We could say "twenty-oh-nine" for 2009, but we don't.

I figure it's a millennial phenomenon. . .
For the first 100 years of every millennia, we change the language. We say, "two-thousand-nine", a 1000 years ago, people probably said "one-thousand-nine" and 1000 years in the future, (when I probably won't be around to pick up my flying car from the dealership) it'll be "three-thousand nine".
But what do you want to bet that 100 years from now, people will pronounce 2109, "twenty-one-oh-nine"?

A hopeful New Year everyone. . .

1 comment:

Anne said...

Believe it or not Arthur, I too remember the 1964 World's Fair!Sporting my "Hienz Gold Pickle" and "Ocar Mayer Hotdog" pins, I could not wait to see if my "Ford" (I believe it was a book mark) a logo just the same, would really GLOW IN THE DARK! I wish you all a........
GLOWING NEW YEAR!