Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Tue Mar 13 14:00:26 UTC 2007

"Mid-aughts" is a useful term that will likely grow even more useful
in retrospect, as is often the case with such temporal labels. Note
that it has already appeared attributively ("mid-aughts America",
"mid-aughts tech story") and predicatively ("painfully mid-aughts",
"very mid-aughts").

2005 _Virginia Quarterly Review_ 81(1) Jan. 156 (Factiva/ProQuest) If
the watchwords of the late 1980s were glasnost and perestroika, the
watchwords of the mid-aughts are stabilnost and konsolidatsia.

2005 _Mix_ 1 Feb. 30 (Factiva/Nexis) Well, here we are in the
mid-Aughts, and it's awards season.

2005 _Birmingham Weekly_ 26 May 24 (ProQuest) In mid-aughts America,
the sound is quite novel, especially considering their hometown is the
Mecca of all things punk -- Washington, D.C.

2005 _Pittsburgh City Paper_ 7 Sep. 28 (ProQuest) Here, in the
mid-aughts, after seeing the show for the first time since, I had a
sinking feeling that we are, or will all soon be, the audience.

2006 _Wall St. Journal_ 16 June W10 (Factiva/ProQuest) Just as boxy
Chrysler K-cars scream "early 1980s," the Mazda's styling is painfully

2006 _New York Times_ 1 Oct. (Book Review) 10/1 He traces a gossipy,
richly detailed path from Le Pavillon, James Beard and curry powder in
the late 1940's to Mario Batali, Thomas Keller and cryovacking in the

2006 _Journal Of Transformative Education_ 4(4) Oct. 301 I'll end
these remarks with another mid-aughts tech story that illustrates what
is certainly one of the greatest benefits of our newest gadgets,
namely, that they help bring and keep us closer to one another.

2007 _Entertainment Weekly_ 16 Mar. 59/1 Overpacked, obscure pop
culture riffs are like pirate jokes -- very mid-aughts and hopefully
on the decline.

There's also the variant "mid-oughts":

2004 _San Francisco Chronicle_ 11 Apr. C7 (Factiva/Nexis/ProQuest) So
he signed for four years and $40 million -- exactly what he wanted
from the Marlins, who were offering three years and $21 million -- and
the assumption was he'd live in baseball limbo into the mid-oughts,
and he just might.

2006 _CableWorld_ 14 Aug. (Factiva) So here we are in the mid-oughts
wondering just what we should be deploying to whom.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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