Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Day One

So today is the first day of 2020. And for a lot of people, it's also the first day of a new decade. This has lead to a number of discussions of when a decade actually begins and ends. The common argument is that since there is no Year 0 A.D., the first year was 1, and so the end of the first decade was 10 A.D. Carry that forward for 2000+ years, and decades officially end on years ending in "0." And for that sets of ten that start with "1" would logically end in "10," that outlook makes sense, but this isn't the way that people normally use numbers. When people talk about the 1970s, for instance, they don't commonly mean the period from 1 January 1971 to 31 December 1980. Likewise, one's "Twenties" last from the point they turn 20 to their 30th birthday.

So, mathematics and year numbering aside, I'm siding with the idea that today is the last day of the decade. It fits in with how people use language, and in the end, it doesn't make a difference. There are people who find the perennial debate fun, and more power to them. But having come over to the idea of meeting people where they live, rather than expecting them to travel, Happy New Decade it is.

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