Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jan 15 17:58:13 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 12:39 PM, Arnold Zwicky <zwicky at stanford.edu> wrote:
> in my Choosing a Variant course this quarter, we've spent some time on
> the currently hot topic, year names (and number names).  one of the
> students has asked me how people in 1906 referred to that year.  it's
> likely that there were several possibilities, of course.
> anyone have any information on the question?

At the beginning of the last decade I poked around a bit for evidence,
from class cheers and the like. From what I could tell anecdotally,
the most common formulation was "nineteen six." This is sometimes
claimed as a Briticism, but there are plenty of examples in the U.S.
as well.

See this alt.usage.english post for cites:

--Ben Zimmer

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

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