Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Make It So: Oh-Ten

The other day I spotted a Talking Head referring to both "Oh-nine and oh-ten". A minute or two later, he had another opportunity to say it, but caught himself and said, paraphrasing here, "oh-nine and two-thousand-ten", awkwardly. Clearly, he had become aware in the intervening moments of his error and wanted to say it the right way.

I think he had it right the first time. All that debate we used to have about whether this decade would be referred to as the "oughts" or "zeroes" or whatever has subsided in favor of the "O's"--this is the "O Decade", as last year's election should have made abundantly clear.

So, "o-eight", "o-nine", "o-ten"--I like it, but why stop there?--"o-eleven", and so on until we get to twenty. I dig it.

After all, it's not a mistake: if you take the initial 2 for granted, it's a legitimate way of looking at the date--a long term view that goes beyond a mere century as the frame of reference. After all, we are going to need to refer to the carbon dioxide level of "oh-seventy" for quite a while (after we have to put back our net global reduction targets from "ofifty" (my preferred spelling).

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