Out of all the hills you could choose to die on in these, the final days of 2019, please do not be one of the people currently yelling on the internet about how it’s not the end of the decade, actually.
In the words of the Dude, you’re not wrong. You’re just an asshole.
Well, asshole might be a bit strong. But this insistence is smug and unnecessary; its energy is half Scrooge, half reply guy. As a child, you probably thought “YOUR EPIDERMIS IS SHOWING” was the funniest joke in the world. As an adult, you probably correct other adults when they rejoice in the first day of a new season on the first of September instead of the 21st. (Either is fine.)
The argument is that because there is no year 0 in the Anno Domini system our calendars are based on, the first year ever was year 1. Therefore, the first year of any and all subsequent decades is the one ending in 1.
For everyone else, the number dictates the decade: 1990 is in the ’90s. It just makes sense.
Why 2019 is not the end of the decade, despite what you’ll hear from a lot of media and others who don’t understand how the origins of our calendar work. A present a thread to inform you about why 2020 is actually the end of the current decade7 5:46 PM – Dec 27, 2019
i just need to get something straight
2019 is not the end of the decade
the end of 2020 is the end of the decade
the start of 2021 is the start of a new decade
2019 has NOTHING to do with the end of the decade
jesus fuck 12 5:56 AM – Dec 28, 2019
While that’s the origin, whether we correct this obvious administrative snafu is up for furious debate. The New York Times interviewed a goddamn astrophysicist and not even they had a firm answer. (A Merriam-Webster editor did offer a definitive answer: as defined by popular culture and common usage, decades end after the 9 year. But to the decade pedant, that common usage is just more evidence that people are Stupid and they, the pedant, are Smart.)
We also had to deal with this in the early days of Twitter, 10 whole years ago. Back in the days of 140 characters and manual RTs, people were having this conversation, and also rolling their eyes about how this was already sorted out back in the Y2K days (when it was “Actually, the new decade/century/millennium isn’t until 2001″).
If we abide by this system, those born in 1990 are officially ’80s kids. Everyone born in a zero year, in fact, becomes a child of the preceding decade. Do you feel like a ’70s kid, 1980 babies? Or does that thought make you feel 70?
Actually, 70 is a nice round number, isn’t it? Much like 30, or 50. It just feels right to mark those big, round numbers when it’s your birthday — to note that your age now starts with a new digit, which won’t change for 10 years — even though by the time of your birthday you’ve already been in your 30th or 50th year of life for a full 364 days. (Although if you’re 30 and would like to continue to identify as In Your Twenties, you do you.)
In about a week, a bunch of people are going to come out of the woodwork to say, “It’s not the end of the decade!”
Don’t sleep with these people.
You don’t need that kind of pedant in your bed or on your floor.9 1:38 AM – Dec 27, 2019
If your inner pedant is twisted up over this, one Twitter user has an elegant solution: that zero-less first decade just went for nine years. The very first Noughties is an ancient outlier, the janky first pancake you nibble at while you make a neat stack of perfectly round ones.
Yes there was no year 0. However, that’s no reason to kick ourselves in our own genitalia for the rest of time. The losers who were around from year 1-9 just got a 9 year decade. NBD. From then on we all got nice, healthy, neat, 10 year decades starting with 10-19, 20-29, etc.956:25 AM – Dec 22, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy29 people are talking about this
Just don’t think too hard about it.
And sure, maybe it’s technically correct to say that the decade ends in the 0 year, not the 9 year. It’s also technically correct to say that tomatoes are actually a fruit. But your party-pooper technicalities are about as welcome as a punnet of cherry tomatoes in a banana-berry smoothie.
The simple fact is, when two digits in our numbered year change, instead of one, it feels twice as momentous. It feels new. It feels like something bigger than 2019 is ending.
And yes, in some ways it’s as arbitrary as having an extra huge party when you’re going from, say, 1996 to 1997, but in other, more important ways, it’s not remotely like that at all.