This is not Great Debates, and it is not the year 1900, so I am not beginning an argument.
I just read a comment (can’t remember where it came from - halfway through a bottle of wine, but it was on this board) concerning Clinton calling 2000 the new millenium because that is the consensus, when really the millenium begins in 2001. I was sick of the topic by 1990. However, my opinion is - when our calendar began, I don’t think anyone ever came out and said, “Hey, this is year one.” When a baby has lived one year, it is a year old. The first day it is born it is zero, but it’s alive. (Anyone annoyed yet?)

A thousand years is a millennium.

The 2000’s start the new millennium, which will go from 2000 to 2999.

Notice I didn’t say anything about the “3rd millennium.”

Switching between ordinal and cardinal/whole numbers is a little tricky.

When a child is one month old, he/she is in the first year of life, but is zero years old.

So, anyway, yes–it’s a new millennium, although there will be the usual chorus of “there wasn’t a year 0.”

OK, there also wasn’t a year AD 1 or 1 BC. Those were all made up over 1400 years ago.

But consider this–look at the parties that happened this New Year’s Eve and ask this question: Which group would I rather be with, those enjoying the turn of the millennium, or those shrill, shrieking, apoplectic mynah birds echoing “2001, PROCK, 2001?”

There’ve been many topics on this. Basically:

1 AD - 1000 AD was the 1st millennium AD
1001 AD - 2000 AD was/is the 2nd millennium AD
2001 AD - 3000 AD will be the 3rd millennium AD

There was a quote from the London Times of December 1799 basically calling the populous who thought 1800 was the start of the 19th Century AD idiots, and for good reason.

Just because the consensus is that this is the 3rd Millennium AD doesn’t make it so. Some state legislature once enacted that the constant pi was defined as 3 1/7. Didn’t make that true either.

I looked in the mirror today/My eyes just didn’t seem so bright
I’ve lost a few more hairs/I think I’m going bald - Rush

At this point I’m reaching the conclusion that this is a tempest in a teapot.
It ain’t worth a bar fight (unless there’s some money involved).

For what it is worth there is the usual chorus of there is no year zero because there was no year zero. And when a baby is a month old it is a month old.

THe first day of the First Millenium CE was Jan 1, 1. ONe month old?? it was Feb 1, 1

The millenium label is not important so lets just go with it but, realize that 1-1000 was the first millenium just as 1001-2000 is the second.


I’m not a shrimp, I’m a King Prawn.
-Pepe the Prawn

Yeah, syrup is better then jelly.

And Superman could kick The Incredible Hulk’s ass.

Of course Superman could kick the Hulk’s ass. In fact, he did in the latest major Marvel/DC crossover battle. But Hulk is more fun.

Your Official Cat Goddess since 10/20/99.

“We are here! You are saved!” --R. & F.

Ooh, heard a great quote on PBS last night:

“The dawn of a new era is felt and not measured.” Walter Lord

A lot of people felt 2000 as the start of a new era. I’m sure a large number of posters on this board will feel 2001.

Personally, my two favorite millennia are 1303 - 2303 (the fifth millennium of the Chinese calendar), and…

wait for it…

the thousand years from 1593 to 2562, which is the second millennium A.H. in the Islamic calendar.

(I figured those out myself, so if I’m off a year or two, I trust my Muslim friends will forgive me).

Cecil himself acknowledges that, while 2001 is mathematically correct, people can designate any period of time anything they want, and he seems to consider this a trivial matter. (The Stright Dope, page 100; Return of the Straight Dope, page 377). I concur. Let’s party like it’s 2561!


You are correct that a millennium is 1000 years. You are incorrect that 2000 is the start of the 3rd millennium.

Like it our not the Common Era used to be called “The Year of Our Lord”. The first “Year of Our Lord” was year one.

Think of the set of Natural Numbers (or “counting numbers”). The set of Natural Numbers excludes zero. We start counting with one. Therefore, the 2nd millennium doesn’t end until 31 December, 2000.

Just because the majority of the population believes something, doesn’t make it so.

On the other hand, “Every day is Saturday to a dog.”