Don't ask Cecil for directions.

I believe there is some precedent for “the oughts”.

I thought that was the “aughts?”

If it wasn’t then it ought to have been.

My vote is for the “naughty noughties”.

Merriam-Webster Online: Aught.

You will have to look at definition 3, the one for “aught” as a noun.

No one will call this decade the “oughts.” Whatever fruitcakes entertained that term a century ago are all dead. This decade will either be called “the first decade” or will not be talked about at all in its own right (just like 1900-9). However, given the many historical events that occured (both political and technological), I’ll bet the former scenario is more likely than the latter.

Besides, “the first decade” has an awesome ring to it, and that matters a lot in such situations. I’ll bet with anyone that that’s what the media will say.

OTOH… the media loves to talk about the current decade (or at least, they couldn’t stop saying “the 90s”) and it hasn’t used any name yet. So I guess chances are also pretty good that the period of my youth will go nameless. :frowning:

Except for the "ought’ in “ought to”, ought/aught and nought/naught are found both ways.

Only if you use what Merriam-Webster Online calls the “archaic” form of “aught.”

Let’s just call them “the Neds.” We are now in May of Twenty Ned Eight. “Back in the early twenty-neds, things were different. You could get a 400k mortgage, and use a rabbit for a credit reference.”

“After twenty ned eight, it was all over for John Hagee and Lil’ Wayne.”

This is a debate that I’ve been waiting to fight again for 9 years.

I’m with Alex. The first century got slighted a year because of the idiocy of the people who made this calendar with a missing year. (Sometimes I wonder which birthday that they thought someone born in 5 BC would be celebrating in AD5.) There should be a year zero, but there’s not. We can either…
A.) Say that the first century had only 99 years in it, or
B.) Take one year from every century (and decade, millennium, etc.) and give it to the previous one.

Option A. seems most logical to me.

What if they had decided that the first century started with the year 9 AD? Which decade would you say we were in now? Would you be revving up for a big Millennium party later this year?

The first penny in the first pile (pile #0) would be penny #0. The second would be penny #1… The 100th would be penny #99, and the last one in the first pile.

Penny #100 would, naturally, be in pile #1, the second pile.

Now, let’s say that someone comes along and steals a penny from the first pile. We can…

A.) say “pile zero only has 99 pennies”
b.) take a penny from the stack and put it in pile zero. (But that doesn’t really work for this analogy, so let’s just scratch that.)
C.) Take a penny from the second stack (stack #1) and give it to the first stack (stack #0). Then take a penny from the third stack and give it to the second. Then take a penny from the third stack… [continuing forever]

Option C.) seems kinda silly, doesn’t it?

For those who believe that the 90’s didn’t start until 1991, I have to ask this: Did they start at 12:00:00 midnight on January 1, 1991? Or 12:01:01, or 1:01:01?

That’s wrong. Zero does not represent a quantity, and is therefore not a counting number. There is no penny #0, or pile #0, or year #0.

If I put a penny in your hand and asked how many pennies you had, would you answer “zero”?

12 midnight exactly. (Why in the world would you start 61 seconds later?) That’s when the tenth decade of the twentieth century started. “The '90s” is an informal designation that may refer to either that decade of the century, or to the years 1990-'99.

Right. People didn’t start counting from zero until computers came along, and calendars were in use long before computers. So it’s no surprise the convention is what it is.

There’s a similar “contradiction” in one’s age. If you are, say, forty-four years old, you are in your forty-fifth year. (But note that we never say an infant is zero years old. We give an age in days, weeks or months.)

…or that half a dozen other dictionaries simply list as alternate spellings.

…which is as completely and utterly nonsensical as saying that the first dozen has only eleven doughnuts in it.

Actually, the English word “zeroth” is attested back to the 1890s. But computer-science use is neither here nor there; the real explanation of the calendar is that the A.D. epoch (and most other epochs) is conceptually an ordinal. A.D. 1 is the first “year of our Lord”.

I would say that I have one penny in that hand and zero in the other. Zero does represent a quantity.

If you had a penny in your hand, and I took it away, how many pennies would you now say you have? Negative one? That’s bad math, bad logic, and bad calendar design. Unfortunately we have to live with the last one; but not the first 2.

(I’ll be back after work)

What does the other hand have to do with it?

No, I’m sorry, it doesn’t. The quantity “zero” is meaningless. There is no zero quantity.

No. I would have no pennies in my hand. If you have one penny in your hand, and I add zero pennies, how many would you have? One, obviously. The quantity would be unchanged. So zero has no quantity.

Show me where I said that 1 minus 1 = -1.

Any calender design that has variable values for “century” is bad calender design.

Not sure why people have such a hard time understanding a timeline but here’s a diagram to simplify it.
If we all agree that Jan 1, 1AD = Jan.1, 754AUD then the millenium ends Dec. 31, 2753 AUD or Jan. 30. 2000.
Therefore, the new millenium starts Jan.1, 2754 AUD or…
drum roll please… Jan. 1, 2001 !!!

  752AUD      753AUD     754AUD       755AUD       ....
  /          \     /          \     /           \      /           \       

2BC 1BC 1AD 2AD 3AD …
\ / \ / \ / \ /
Year 1 Year 0 Year 1 Year 2 …

          2752AUD               2753AUD               2754AUD               ....
        /                \           /                \           /                \                   

1999AD 2000AD 2001AD 2002AD …
\ / \ / \ /
Year 1999 Year 2000 Year 2001 …

Sorry, Can’t get spacing right

       752AUD      753AUD     754AUD       755AUD        ....
      |______|    |______|   |______|    |______|      
  2BC           1BC            1AD            2AD            3AD  ....
      |______|    |______|   |______|    |______|                
        Year 1        Year 0        Year 1          Year 2          ....             

             2752AUD              2753AUD              2754AUD               ....
           |________|          |________|          |________|                   
1999AD                2000AD                2001AD                 2002AD  ....
           |________|          |________|          |________|
            Year 1999             Year 2000             Year 2001              ....