Name that decade

While much of the world scurries to conquer Y2K computer problems, some millennial thinkers are grappling with yet another problem:

What should we call the next decade and the individual years in it?

"There's definitely no consensus," says Andrew Novick, who works in the Time and Frequency Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado.

Judges of a "Name That Decade" contest held last October by The Washington Post considered these candidates: The Ooze, The Millies (playing off millennium), and The Naughties (playing off "aught," the term for zero) before bestowing the top honor on The Pre-Teens.

Voice of America held its own contest and drew more-global suggestions: The Philippines contributed the Empties, the Zippos, and The Roly 0s; England, The Zeroes; and China, The Zoos.

As for individual years, bond traders (who need to think 30 years ahead) refer to the years 2000 through 2009 in single digits: oh-six, oh-seven. This abbreviated approach is likely to prevail, according to Gareth Branwyn, "Jargon Watch" columnist for Wired magazine.

Source: Associated Press

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