Why No One Talks to Me at Parties

Let’s start off 2010 by making my position clear:  it is not a new decade.  Or, it is a new decade, just as 2009 and every year is the end of one ten-year period and the start of another.  The first decade of the Common Era was years 1-10.  (No one uses zero as an ordinal number except computer engineers, who had not been invented in the Year One.  Today is not the 0th day of January.  This is not my 0th post of 2010.  When Wes Welker catches a Tom Brady pass on 3rd and 7 and gains 12 yards, the ref does not announce “0th down!”)   The second decade of the Common Era started on New Year’s Day of year 11.  1,999 years have passed from January 1, 11 to January 1, 2010.  1,999 is not a factor of ten.  Therefore today, while the start of the 10’s, is not the start of the 201st decade of the Common Era.  Agreed?

Probably, no.  I can’t even convince my family.  Before he drove off on Wednesday afternoon to celebrate New Year’s Eve with friends (it was a long drive), I discussed this controversy with Nate.  His explanation for why today is the start of a new decade?  “The first decade was short.  Only nine years.”  He said that, right to my face!  That’s what happens when you send your kids to college to become liberal arts majors.

Happy New Year, readers.

3 thoughts on “Why No One Talks to Me at Parties”

  1. Years mark the end, not beginning of a period. A newborn infant is not one year old – he is generally counted in days, weeks or months, until he has reached a full year. A 24 year old has completed 24 years and is already starting his 25th. The same thinking applies to years on a calendar. The dates in the year we refer to as 2010 are actually a countdown of dates until we have completed 2,011 years from when we first began counting. Years 0->1, 1->2, 2->3, 3->4, 4->5, 5->6, 6->7, 7->8, 8->9 and 9->10 comprise a decade, which would rightfully make 2010 the beginning of the new decade. These are the first days of the 2,011th year of counting and the 202nd decade of counting.

  2. In response to Jeff's comment: There is technically no year 0; thus, year 0-1 does not formally exist. Although years (obviously) existed before our calendar (~4.54B), man started counting at 1. Year 1-2, is the first calendar year; by year number 2, only one year has passed. Since the second decade begins after the first has ended, and we don't count 0-1, we know a decade has been completed by year 11 (year 10-11 being the tenth year). To conclude, the first day of year 11 (or 2011), is the first day (the beginning) of the new decade. This is where the 1,999 years calculation is derived from. We are in the same decade that began 2001, and will not be in the next decade until 2011.

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