03 January 2010

Nomenclature Time of the Year

Hard to believe it's twenty ten already. That's what we're calling it right, twenty ten?

Who decides these things anyways?

There must be some committee or scientific team that puts these things together. I mean how else is there consensus? Uniformity when it comes to describing an event such as an entire year is probably very important. You know, have everyone on the same page and all.

As I look back at the past decade, I am reminded of the fact that it provided us with a couple of real gems as far as popular sayings, phrases and clich├ęs go. For the most part, I opted out of the hilarity and took the high road... well, you know me - not the really high road, just the one less traveled.

At the turn of the last century a phrase that was way over used was, 'I'm gonna party like it's 1999'... very funny and painfully obvious. Good one. Who writes these? For the record, I only said this about three dozen times leading up to 2000. I think that because of my under use of this phrase, I choose to say it in more recent years, not just because its nostalgic but because it's now finally become funny. OK, maybe not that funny, but it's my new years eve standby now.

Remember Y2K? Even though ten years have passed, I think most people forgot within ten days the ordeal brought on by the thought of that impending disaster - satellites falling out of the sky, appliances quitting, communication systems being knocked out and all 'round general mayhem. While some people stocked up on water, canned food, batteries and other sundries, I decided (read procrastinated) to wait for the new years sales, and lucky I did. The year 2000 rolled around and nothing happened. The previous 6 months I spent creating disaster plans, backing up systems and mapping out alternative ways to get the advertising job done was for naught. It's quite laughable now, but in 1999 this was perceived a big threat to businesses.

Y2K was a term quickly adopted by the masses and without much pushback... not like Y2K1 - no surprise that never caught on. After Y2K, the nomenclature became Oh One, Oh Two and so on, up until last year. Now we're Twenty Ten... perhaps next year will provide the greatest challenge. Twenty Eleven? Twenty One One? Surely, 4 or 5 syllables won't cut it in this world of brevity. Perhaps the worlds top scientists are already working on it. Afterall, It is the year before the world ends, so we want to make sure we go out on a high note, not left with some awkward 4 or 5 syllable albatross hanging around our collective neck. This team of scientists will no doubt craft a suitable name for 2011 before the dice is cast over mankind.

I totally missed the boat on the 'double O seven' year (2007). Not that I needed any copyright infringement lawsuits, but it would have been nice to toss that nugget into a few conversations. You know, for appearances sake, to appear more topical and on top of current events. But alas, I forgot until it was too late. The same way every May 5th I remember to say, May the 4th be with you.

Maybe the Chinese have it all figured out with naming years after 12 rotating animals. I don't mind being a monkey, it has some good attributes. For the ladies, an animal association has some benefits too, like the secret decoder ring / paper placemat that conceals the year of your birth, if even just for a few minutes before you eat dinner. Of course, the Chinese would have had a committee to choose the animals and you know there was some dissension when the rat was proposed and accepted.

Come to think of it, I'm sure that my opinion of the Chinese system might be a bit more critical if I were a rat. But I'm not, I'm a monkey and I like that a lot.

I guess we could have worse problems than worrying about what we're gonna call a year, and it's probably best left to the experts anyways as to what it's called. As long as they figure it out, all will be well in the world. And, we'll find out the way we find out anything these days, through Facebook.

For the time being, let's be thankful that we've got twenty ten, and that we've got all year to enjoy it. Happy New Year!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with the Year of the Rat, pal.


1/07/2010 10:10:00 AM  

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