Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Fri Jan 15 19:01:25 UTC 2010

On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 1:51 PM, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu> wrote:
> At 12:58 PM -0500 1/15/10, Benjamin Zimmer wrote:
> >
> >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.
> And of course, unlike "Twenty nine" for 2009, there would be no
> possibility of reinterpreting "Nineteen six" as any number other than
> 1906.  Now that we're moving into dates that similarly block such
> reinterpretation, starting with "Twenty ten", it seems plausible to
> expect that form of the date to predominate over "Two thousand..."

...which was the rationale for selecting "twenty-ten" for Most Likely
to Succeed in the WOTY voting, with John Rickford (I think) suggesting
that this was also a vote for the "twenty-X" form all the way to 2099.

--Ben Zimmer

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

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