End of the second decade of this century?

End of the road for this decade? Or perhaps not.
Is Dec. 31, 2019, the end of this decade? Good question.

We always have to have something to debate and the current discussion on whether or not we end this current decade next week is, at least, one that has nothing to do with impeachment, who is or is not the best football team in the land and so on.

The world had the same decade when 1999 ended and 2000 began, except the disagreements were on whether or not the new century began when the new year chimed in at midnight on Dec. 31, 1999. If the new century began on Jan. 1, 2000, then Dec. 31, 2009, marked the passage of 10 years.

But if the new century began on Jan. 1, 2001, it’s only been 19 years.

Confusing? Damn right.

Here’s what The Farmers Almanac says:

The 2020s (pronounced “twenty-twenties” or “two thousand (and) twenties”, shortened to “the ’20s”) is the upcoming decade in the Gregorian calendar that will begin on January 1, 2020, and will end on December 31, 2029.

Really? CNN reports:

The US Naval Observatory, the agency that maintains the country’s master clock, tackled this question in 1999 as people debated when the new millennium would begin. According to the astronomical dating system through which it measures time, the observatory stated that the new millennium would begin on January 1, 2001.

Those technicalities, however, don’t change the fact that as a society, we seem to have collectively determined that decades begin in years ending in zero and end on years ending in nine.
After all, it makes sense.
When we think of the 90s, we think of the period from 1990-1999. It just doesn’t make sense that the year 1990 would be considered part of the 80s.
Plus, it’s more satisfying to celebrate big occasions like the start of a new decade in an even-numbered year, a phenomenon that psychologists call “round number bias.” Waiting until 2021 to celebrate the new decade would feel anticlimactic.
That’s why Konstantin Bikos, lead editor of TimeandDate.com, says that both definitions of when the new decade begins are correct. No need to cancel your end-of-the-decade party.
“There’s two different ways of categorizing 10 years,” he told CNN. “It could be from the year ending in 0 to the year ending in 9, or the year ending in 1 to the year ending in 0.”
So do we end this decade at midnight next Tuesday?
Yes and no.
It depends on who you talk to.
Or listen to.
Or whatever.

© 2004-2022 Blue Ridge Muse

© 2021 Blue Ridge Muse