Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Year’s Eve 2019

Does anything define this decade quite as well as an internet meme?


Yes, it’s New Year’s Eve already. It’s pointless to note that the years roar by with alarming speed these days, you already know that. And as everyone else will be doing a decade recap I won’t bother with that either.

However I would like to point out that tonight’s celebration is not without controversy. Because we don’t have enough to argue about…the internet is now shouting at each other over whether the new decade begins at the stroke of midnight tonight or if it actually begins a year hence on January 1, 2021.

There is a group of One True Decade Pedagogues (OTDP) who insist it is the later.  Apparently the argument rests on the difference between the Julian calendar, which had no zero, and the Gregorian calendar, which does. They argue that since there is no year 0 in the Anno Domini system – created in the days of the Julian calendar - the first year ever was year 1. Therefore, the first year of any and all subsequent decades is the one ending in 1.

Since we have operated on the Gregorian calendar for millennials (since 1582), and because it was invented in order to correct inaccuracies in the Julian calendar, it seems a no-brainer to me but apparently that argument is not persuasive to the OTDP.

People making this pedantic point ought to be banned from commenting on Twitter and forums for the next decade. There are already far too many irrelevant and pointless-but-true factoids clogging up the internet.

And did we not already have this argument back in the dark days at the turn of the century? The fact that all the doomsday triggers that the Y2K alarmists were terrified of but never happened kicked in on January 1, 2000 ought to be sufficient to end this silly debate. Give it a rest, nobody wants to argue about arcane issues for an entire millennium.

Merriam-Webster agrees that popular culture and common usage has determined and defined that decades end after the 9 year. That’s good enough for me yet I know that somewhere, somehow that fact alone will convince the Decade Purists that they are right. To them I say SHUT UP ALREADY! You’ve already caused enough damage.

But if they wish to continue to make their correct but inconsequential point fine, the rest of us will be ringing in the 21st century’s own Roaring 20’s )HT PDJT) – perhaps by popping a bottle of Moet Chandon. Which I just found out I’ve been mispronouncing for decades, no matter how you count them, thanks to Queen:

For the record, you DO pronounce the “t” in Moet. It’s a Dutch name, I should have known that.

So get your dancing shoes out and have a great New Year’s Eve regardless of which decade you’re celebrating!