Have The 2020’s Begun… Or Not Yet?

Have The 2020’s Begun… Or Not Yet?

Most people would say the decade of the 2020’s has just begun… but has it? If you go back to the beginning of Anno Domini (AD) timekeeping, the first year was referred to as 1 AD. In retrospect, it probably should’ve been called 0 AD. Programmers know… never start and array with 1. When the year changed to 10 AD, it meant 9 – not 10 – years had passed. Therefore, the first decade did not end until the conclusion of 10 AD. Subsequently, 11 AD marked the start of the second Anno Domini decade. Extrapolate that to modern times and mathematics would dictate that the 203rd decade don’t start until 1/1/2021.

However, if you asked a random person off the street “what years comprised the 1950’s?”, chances are they’d say 1950-1959. Very few people would say 1951-1960. So, colloquially we refer to the decades but the first three digits. Everything that begins with 197 comprises the 1970’s, and so on. This is simply a convention we use to reference time in ten year increments and not necessarily a mathematical formula. It would difficult to convince an average person that 1980 was part of 1970’s, or worse, that 2000 was actually part of the 1900’s. Using this method, one would conclude the 2020’s have begun.

Ultimately, it’s a case of historical math versus generally accepted parlance. Either can be considered correct depending on your perspective. What do you think?

About the Author

avatar KALE: A geek who works in the IT field and lives in Dallas, TX. He is also a music geek who has played in several local bands. Previous to his IT career, Kale worked as a photojournalist. He brings technical advice and artistic counterpoint to the podcast.