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60′s, 70′s, 80′s, 90′s, and now what? 00′s? What do you call the current decade?

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This is the Zeroes, not the two-thousands.

Donnie Darko March 10, 2006, 2:36am

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Actually, while the <i>CMS</i> recommends avoiding the apostrophe for "70s," "80s," etc., it does recommend its use for lowercase letters (e.g., "p's and q's") as well as abbreviations with "two or more interior periods or with both capital and lowercase letters" (e.g., "M.A.'s and Ph.D's"). So recommending the consistent avoidance of apostrophes to form the plural is contrary to the <i>CMS</i>.

In any case, it is a much-debated topic with heavyweights on both sides. Here's another reference:

Anonymous Coward May 17, 2004, 6:02pm

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It is sooo annoying to me when people use 90's etc. instead of 90s. It is not possessive, therefore should not have an apostrophe simple as that!! I get so frustrated when driving down the freeway and 70 percent of the real estate and home builder signs say "Homes from the 120's" Those homes own nothing! UGH!

texassunflowers May 1, 2004, 9:25pm

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Whoever the poster "(cat)" is, I congratulate them on their post.

For some odd reason, it grasped me and, in my folly, I even created a simple wallpaper using that quote.

But that's just me. Odd.

RoadKill September 26, 2003, 6:49pm

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Tom (the no email Tom) and PeriodButtons, please note. _The Chicago Manual of Style_, perhaps the most highly respected style guide in the US, uses 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s. Other respected style guides use 60's, 70's, 80's, 90's. Just be consistent. If you use 60s, for example, use Ps and Qs.

Oughts, aughts, noughts, naughts--one or all of these may be selected eventually, but I'll probably be dead by then. As usual, Teresa Nielsen Hayde hits the bullseye. kaibutsu--none of these is a distortion; all are sound and have a common meaning: zero.

erle April 10, 2003, 8:48pm

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i am in full support of franco-american's hold on the canned lunch industry. as a result, i call this decade the "Os" or "ohs".

werd March 29, 2003, 2:55pm

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PeriodButtons you are wrong. The apostrophe is used in more than one way - in addition to indicating posesion, it separates characters from a plural if the characters are to be pronounced for example, "mind your p's and q's".

Punctuation in written language cannot be described as definitvely correct or otherwise by a set of rules, and it is folly to attempt to. The aim is to aid the transcription of the spoken language, and the reading of the written form back as was originally intended. If people misread 50s or hesitate over it, and 50's helps prevent this then it is as correct as it can be.

Of course, formal rules for punctuation aid learning and help to standardise language, but should not be taken as a mantra at the expense of comprehension.

In this paticular case, the apostrophe helps by adding a pause to show the reader that the number formed from the digits should be pronounced wholey before the s sound is added.

Tom March 18, 2003, 7:09pm

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Personally, I refer to individual years as 2K2 or 2K3 (pronounced "two-kay-two," etc.). Correspondingly, I refer to the decade as the 2Ks. I'm pretty sure that the next few decades will be twenty-tens or twenty-twenties, until we get used to the new century and can refer to only the decade.

Of course, the Noughts works fine as well.

rdwald March 18, 2003, 4:44pm

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What do you think of coining this decade the "zips"?

adamhe March 18, 2003, 1:54pm

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Whatever you call it, it shouldn't be written with an apostrophe (i.e., 80s, not 80's. It's a plural, not a possessive.)

pb March 18, 2003, 12:11pm

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How about the digits? the teens? then the twenties etc.?

tokyogirl March 18, 2003, 11:31am

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Actually, kaibutsu, it is 'nought' not 'naught' (there's a mouthful); the former is rooted in math terminology as a subscript 'O' and the latter represents 'nothing'.

nospam March 18, 2003, 12:46am

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Playing with Russ' "double ought" maybe we should consider " the d'aughts" or "the doubts."

kuri March 17, 2003, 10:20pm

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I'm not hearing any common use of terms signifying which century we're in, because it's usually so obvious from context that there's no need to specify which century you mean.

I'm hearing this decade called the Oughts, just like the first decade of the last century. Specific years are pronounced "oh three" or "ought three". If we continue to use the same forms as last century, which seems likely, the next decade will be the Teens.

tnh March 17, 2003, 9:56pm

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From what I understand, the first years of the 20th century were referred to as "the aughts," which comes from a distortion of the word "naught." Not to be confused with a middle-english adjective of entirely different meaning.

kaib March 17, 2003, 9:24pm

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[the decade] after the turn of the century
[the decade] after the turn of the millenium
the first decade [at the turn of the century/ millenium]
the pixel years
the singles
the zeroes
the maiden run-up
the 10s would be the teens - dirtier
the initial years!

husain February 24, 2003, 12:01am

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You don't: the postmodern fallacy is to invent temporally coindexed designators for the purpose of engaging in erroneous and mastrubatory reflexive metadiscourse. I suggest, for the psychological health of yourself as well as that of your historical era, that reference to the present decade be avoided until the proper time for such transpires.

(cat) February 22, 2003, 5:14pm

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a light approach helps a lot. over the other side of the big pond we enjoy calling our current decade the naughties. two naughts and a lot of madness. it makes for something, no?

hey .tf

hello February 7, 2003, 1:21pm

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ermm.. 60s = sixties
00s = zero-ties...??

skin February 6, 2003, 9:36pm

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I dont believe a name has been given to the first decade.

purpledragon_13 February 5, 2003, 6:23am

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I hear people calling the current decade the 'naughties' - though these are typically social commentators looking for a catchy phrase to throw into their program.... so that's not really indiciative of typical speach (yet).

Merge February 4, 2003, 4:06am

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oops, correction, when 2010 rolls around i think people would more likely say two thousand tens, not twenty tens. but of course, living in the century for more than a decade already, i think it would be save for everyone to just say "tens". but when they would refer to a specific year, like 2014, they would say twenty fourteen, just as we did in the other centuries, ie: nineteen ninety for 1990.

bluepxl February 2, 2003, 7:24pm

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the "two thousands" is what i hear people calling it. just like how people said "this is the nineties (90s)" i find people say "this is the two thousands (2000s)". when 2010 rolls around, people will be saying twenty-tens, etc.

bluepxl February 2, 2003, 7:21pm

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the double ought? (sp)

russell January 24, 2003, 6:32pm

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Yes     No