Name that year!

So we’re a few days into the New Year and there’s no consensus on how to say what year we’re in.

Are you saying “twenty ten”? Or are you calling it “two thousand ten”?

Back in my English elementary school days, we had to learn important dates by heart. My class could recite in unison that William the Conqueror reigned from ten-eighty six to ten-eighty seven, and that his son William II (or William Rufus for his red hair), ruled from ten-eighty seven to eleven hundred.

We didn’t say “one thousand eighty six,” nor did we say “one thousand one hundred.”

During the last century (weren’t we just there?), we called the years “nineteen eighty nine,” and “nineteen ninety seven,” not “one thousand nine hundred and eighty nine,” and “one thousand nine hundred and ninety seven.”

But we called the last ten years “two thousand one, two thousand two,” etc. Did we collectively blow it and make a ten-year grammatical boo-boo?

Jeff Rubin, founder of National Punctuation Day, says there are no rules on how to say it. “No one has the authority, so pick a style and stick to it,” he says. He continues, “Two thousand ten sounds like a classier way to say it – it’s a bigger number. I can picture an aristocrat in New York, on Park Avenue or in her suite at the Waldorf Astoria, looking down at you through her bifocals, telling you ‘two thousand ten!’ Twenty ten is easier to say, but two thousand ten sounds nicer.”

Defying Rubin’s dictum that no one has the authority to tell us how to say it, a self-appointed expert has let loose his opinion on the question.

What do you think we should call it? Cast your vote in the Make a Comment area below.

Roberta Guise works with experts, small business owners and professionals who want to be extraordinarily visible and sharpen their marketing edge. A small business marketing consultant and speaker, she is the founder of San Francisco-based Guise Marketing & PR. If you'd like to know how to apply these concepts to your situation, call for a free 1/2 hour consultation. 415-979-0611.