Year names

sagehen sagehen at WESTELCOM.COM
Wed May 2 17:11:00 UTC 2007

>Recently, I've been participating in a LiveJournal discussion on the
>pronunciation of year names. The original poster, who is Swedish, was
>struck by President Bush's use of the phrase "two thousand seven" to
>refer to the current year; the corresponding name in Swedish would
>translate as "twenty-hundred and seven".
>I replied that this was standard usage, with "twenty-oh-seven" as a rarer
>possibility (and "twenty-hundred and seven" an impossibility), but
>pointed out that in later decades "two thousand seventeen" and
>"twenty-seventeen" would be possibilities, with the former being
>somewhat more formal.
>A British reader then commented that, to his(?) ear, "two thousand
>seven" sounded odd; he preferred "two thousand and seven", with
>"twenty-oh-seven" a rarer option. Likewise, he preferred an "and" in,
>e.g., "two thousand and seventeen". He also pointed out that, though
>he had never heard anyone use "twenty hundred seven", "nineteen
>hundred and seven" was perfectly standard. As another data point, he
>said, "1066" is always pronounced "ten-sixty-six" in English history
>So, I'm curious. What sorts of variation - in register, dialect, or what
>have you - are there in the verbalization of year names? Is there, e.g.,
>such a clear division between AmE and BrE as the above suggests?
>Jim Parish
I find  "Double-0 Seven" irresistible.  Not because I am or was a
particular fan of the Bond phenomenon -- books or movies --  but it's so
neat, and totally unambiguous as a date;  you'd have to go back to before
1066 And All That or ahead to a post-apocalyptic(!) 3007  for any confusion
to arise.

W stands for >:<  War ____Waste___Wiretaps____Witchhunts  >:<

The American Dialect Society -

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