Say goodbye to the decade with no name

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sat Dec 19 19:24:20 UTC 2009

At 12:11 PM -0500 12/19/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 12/19/2009 03:26 AM, Seán Fitzpatrick wrote:
>>Oh, yeah.  I forgot about Brel Volksmund.
>He was quite popular in his time.
>>But seriously, except for the "Roaring Twenties", no decadal epithet will
>>get you accused of cliché/standard usage.
>Even the "swinging sixties"??  201,000 Google
>hits, and authoriry from Wikipedia's article
>"1960s".  And have a little fun with "flashing
>seventies" and "banging eighties" (including one
>instance in Dutch).  Google gives one instance of
>"whimpering nineties":  "In these the whimpering
>nineties, eroding economic opportunity, crime and
>moral muddle, the specter of uncanny disease, and
>creeping ecological disaster have become the new
>obsessions."  Perhaps taken from Brel.

The 70's were widely known at the time as the Me
Decade, but that doesn't have the same form as
the "Xing Z-ties".


>>Seán Fitzpatrick
>>No oil for pacifists!
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: Joel S. Berson [mailto:Berson at ATT.NET]
>>Sent: Friday, December 18, 2009 9:33 AM
>>Subject: Re: Say goodbye to the decade with no name
>>At 12/18/2009 01:26 AM, Seán Fitzpatrick wrote:
>>>True but not too relevant.  MOST of the years 2011-2020 (or vulgarly
>>>2010-2019) *are*  teens.
>>>Not that it matters.  Except for the "Roaring Twenties", and the obvious
>>>"'teens" and "oughts" (cf. Fibber McGee's "19 ought 10"), decades are not
>>>named in the Volksmund.
>>Except by Brel?
>>The Twenties roar
>>The Thirties scream
>>The Forties burn
>>The Fifties zing
>>The Sixties swing
>>The Seventies flash
>>The Eighties bang
>>The Nineties whimper
>>(and the century hangs)
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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