When Does The New Decade Start?



"Does the new decade start at the beginning or at the end of 2010?"
"When does the new decade start?"
"When does *this* decade end?"

I've seen the question posed a few different ways, and I've seen it given two different answers.

The first answer: "the decade begins at beginning of 2010" – the reasoning being that the "Twenty-Tens" or "Tens" decade needs to include to year 2010. This makes sense.

The second answer: "because there was no 'year 0' the next decade doesn't start until the end of the year 2010" – the reasoning being… wait… what?! "Year 0" has nothing to do with this! Are there really people that think that 1990 was part of "the 80s"?! This answer makes as much sense as "it doesn't start until the end of 2010… because pizzas are round."

Besides just being a "10 year period", there is another definition of the word "decade" which specifically addresses this question: a decade is "a period of ten years beginning with a year whose last digit is zero: the decade of the 1980s."

So there you have it. According to me, common sense, and the dictionary, the "new decade" began on January 1, 2010.
(Anyone that claims otherwise, and tries to give you "answer 2" above, either has no clue and is trying to look smarter than they are, or were convinced by such a person.)

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8 Comments »

  1. Tom (112 comments) said,

    Right on! And thank you for saying "Twenty-Ten". The year (and new decade) is barely 4 days old but I keep finding myself correcting those who say "Two thousand (and) ten". It's driving me batty

    January 4, 2010 @ 9:54 am


  2. Cactus Joe (98 comments) said,

    Was there even a year 0? And if so was it AD or BC? And why is BC counted backwards? Its very confusing. Besides, how did they know there was going to be a C born on year 0 anyway? I doubt they even had BC during BC times.

    Wouldn't year zero be like year 2010? I am sure when the BC's came to an end, it was a massive NYE party at the end of 1 BC.

    "Thank God, Christ came a long and put an end to those dark BC times. Let's go slaughter heathens!!! Yea!"

    January 4, 2010 @ 4:27 pm


  3. sparx (882 comments) said,

    No. No year 0.

    AD is supposed to begin the year J.C. was born. So, it'd be more like "Thank God! Christ… is crying and keeping us all awake." Or, from wikipedia: "According to Matthew 2:1[7] and Matthew 2:16[8], King Herod the Great was alive when Jesus was born, and ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in response to his birth." It looks like 1AD also commemorates a massacre.

    Also, check out how recently AD/BC caught on! Russia used the Byzantine calendar until 1700! BC didn't become widespread until the 15th century!

    "According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, popes continued to date documents according to regnal years for some time, but usage of AD gradually became more common in Roman Catholic countries from the 11th to the 14th centuries.[12] Eastern Orthodox countries only began to adopt AD instead of the Byzantine calendar in 1700 when Russia did so, with others adopting it in the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Even though Anno Domini was in widespread use by the 9th century, Before Christ (or its equivalent) did not become widespread until the late 15th century.[13]"

    January 4, 2010 @ 4:39 pm


  4. sparx (882 comments) said,

    Why is there not an AC/DC cover/parody band named AD/BC?!

    January 4, 2010 @ 4:41 pm


  5. unlikelymoose (375 comments) said,

    yea, 1990 has no business being part of the 1980's. It's part of the 90's. I like your explanation. This page should become the defining page when people look for this topic. Kudos. Why did I use that word. No one says "kudos" any more. Am I stuck in 1999?

    January 5, 2010 @ 8:14 am


  6. sparx (882 comments) said,

    Do they still make those "Kudos" granola-ey bars?

    I used to love those things!

    January 5, 2010 @ 7:14 pm


  7. unlikelymoose (375 comments) said,

    yea, those Kudos bars were good. Though really they were more like cookies than granola bars. That's why they were so good. "Oh, I'm not eating a 'cookie'. I'm being healthy and eating a 'granola bar.'"

    January 11, 2010 @ 11:04 am


  8. spudart (890 comments) said,

    Just what are we calling this decade? The teens?

    January 30, 2010 @ 10:34 am


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