Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The 00's: the lost decade

How do you refer to the current decade, if you refer to it at all? Recently I heard someone confidently say "zero zeroes," as if this term were in the general parlance. But I don't recall having heard that before.

Consider the term "the eighties." It's absolutely soaking with cultural significance. The decade 1980-1989, which I experienced from age 6 through 15, is, in my mind, firmly attached to the term "the eighties."

But what of this current decade? How will today's children refer to it? Will they say: "I grew up in the zero zeroes"? Looking back one hundred years, people called the period after 1900 "the turn of the century." So will this decade be known as "the turn of the millenium"?

I suppose I sometimes hear "the post-911 era," but that's a considerably bleak way to refer to this decade.

Is a decade more puzzling, more disturbing, somehow, if we don't have an easy label for it?

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8 comments:

Armchair Anarchist said...

In the UK at least, we call it 'the Noughties'. Yeah, it sounds awful, but what ya gonna do?

Doreen said...

Talk to someone who is 120 years old
(if you can find one)and mention
the 70's or 80's or 90's and see
what can happen ?
I bet he'll ask you :"Hi kiddo, which
70's (or 80's or 90's) are you
referring to?"

Eventually, say year 2045, 20's will certainly mean anywhere
2020-2029!

Doreen

Jason said...

I guess you would have to figure out what people in 1899 called the 1990's.

Vanessa said...

The "nineteen hundreds" can mean anywhere between 1900-1999, but it can also refer more specifically to 1900-1909. So what about the "two-thousands"?

Jonathan said...

The "two thousands" -- yes, I believe I've heard that. And then when the next decade rolls around (I can't believe this will happen in just a few more years), maybe people will call it the "twenty-tens."

Anonymous said...

Being 16 and having grown up in the "noughties" I can assure you that this is a decade that fits it's name entirely. To us the "noughties" can easily be translated as the "naughties" and I believe that this is exactly how we would describe ourselves as a generation.

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