One of my little annoyances over this last decade has been the constant mispronunciation of the year. After surviving the horrors of Y2K and dodging Conan O’Brien’s unambiguous year two-thousand prediction we transitioned into that futuristic year of 2001. But over the next nine years our tongues got stuck.

Stuck in 2001

For the entirety of the “noughties” we (correctly) enunciated the year as “two-thousand and {year}". But when the calendars rolled over to 2010 that outdated pattern just kept rolling of our tongues. We were so obsessed with the freshness of our new-found millennium that we ignored the pattern used for ~90% of our recorded history:

  • 1999 is “nineteen ninety-nine” not “nineteen hundred and ninety-nine”.
  • Big hair, high-wasted jeans, and mullets were righteous during the “nineteen-eighties” not the “nineteen-hundred and eighties”.
  • The first olympics games were held in “seven seventy-six BCE” not “seven-hundred and seventy-six BCE”.
  • etc…

Now, as we enter the futuristic year of “twenty-twenty”, I look forward to 90 years of correct annunciation. 🥂

How to Say Years in English