I’ve heard a particular phrase over the past few weeks that is not being questioned or taken to task:
“last ______ of the decade”
“top ten ______ of the decade”
“end of the first decade of the 21st century”
Rubbish. The year 2010 is the last year of the decade, not 2009. The year 2009 is the NINTH year of the first decade of the 21st century. We have another year to go.
The year 2000 was the LAST year of the 20th century, and 2001 was the FIRST year of this one. We are taking a change of digit in the TENS column to make a huge poorly worded leap for catchy headlines. Mathematically and linguistically, we are WRONG on this one in the media. I haven’t heard it spoken or read it written correctly. And it bites my butt.
That’s it, off my chest. Carry on if you must, but take care to not totally destroy our civility in the process.