The decision as the clock strikes midnight is: Should we say "Happy two thousand ten" or "Happy twenty ten."
In this new digital decade, which technically isn't a new decade, comes the analog question of what the masses will call the new year.
A similar quandary arose when we went from 1999 to 2000. We spent the 1900s saying the first half of the year and then the second half -- as in nineteen sixty-five. The new century, which technically wasn't a new century, was referred to as Y2K until the clock actually turned. Then it became two thousand, and hardly ever was twenty oh oh or twenty zero.
So far, Americans have been split. Car makers are using both – picking the longer "two thousand ten" version in television commercials for the larger SUVs like the Lexus RX and Cadillac SRX, and choosing the shorter "twenty ten" for the sportier sedans such as the Buick LaCrosse.
The Winter Olympics, being hosted by our neighbor to the north, is also using both, although promotional videos have referred to the event as "Vancouver twenty ten."
"For real?" responded Ari Y. Kelman, an assistant professor of American studies at the University of California, Davis, when he was asked how he would refer to the new year. "I'm still stuck on what we were supposed to call this outgoing decade: The aughts? The naughties?"
Funny he should ask, as Scott Pedersen has an answer.
Pedersen, an electrician at Cornell University, is pushing for the decade from 2000 to 2009 to be called the "Naughty Aughties." He trademarked the term in 2001 and also has rights to the Aughties, Naughties, Naughts and Aughts, which means he would have to be paid should one of the terms came up in the title of a book or CD.
Reality television set the "moral compass" of this decade, Pedersen said.
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.