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How to Correctly Pronounce the Year 2016 and Beyond

Updated on November 19, 2016
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James Ranka, more widely known online as Copywriter31, earned two BA's - one in Mass Communications and the other in Music Performance.

Time to come together and say it correctly!

Photo Artist: James Ranka
Photo Artist: James Ranka

How To Pronounce 2009

What is the ONLY correct pronunciation for the year 2009?

See results

Oh, Say Can You Say 2009?

Observe and listen to broadcast media anchors, reporters, guests . . . any person talking through a microphone and/or a camera created to bombard you with mostly useless information.

I invite you, my dear reader, to feast on the smorgasbord of incorrectly pronounced 21st. century years—served up in many, many styles, flavors and colors.

The disparity runs rampant. For reasons not yet understandable, agreement on the correct way to pronounce 21st. century years remains enigmatic.

For example, one may hear the year 2009 sprayed around as:

  • two thousand nine
  • two thousand and nine
  • twenty oh nine
  • twenty nine
  • two zero zero nine
  • two oh oh nine

Referencing past historical pronunciations, one of these is correct. Take the poll--check your answer with the correct choice revealed at this hub's end.

A Simple Process of Elimination

For a better understanding, I'll choose 20556 as a random number for further investigation.

This number is NOT pronounced 'twenty thousand five hundred fifty AND six.' Rather, it's correctly said 'two thousand five hundred fifty six.'

Seems to this writer, that small word, "and", is adding to the wrongly pronounced 21st. century years.

Ah, but it is not that simple. 'Year pronouncing' takes another wrong turn as 2009 defers to a new year, 2010. This is where broadcast media and educators make minced meat from a delicious meat loaf.

Want to learn more about America's amazing history?

The Historical Perspective

Now, I'll choose a random year . . . 1910.

Did our 1910 American ancestors describe that current year as "nineteen and ten", or "nineteen hundred and ten?" No, they simply replied, "nineteen ten." One hundred years before, a cowboy in Kansas would have said, "it's eighteen ten."

Simple? Simple!

Fast forward to the year 2012, and broadcast media is further than ever from agreement on how this seemingly innocent, innocuous year number should be pronounced:

  • twenty twelve
  • two thousand twelve
  • two thousand and twelve

Again, American history provides the answer. Our ancestors had no problem in year pronunciation. They made it simple (an art seemingly lost in our 24/7 news cycle.) The correct pronunciation for the year 2010 is:

'Twenty ten'!

Years ago, a convocation was held when SMPTE time code came to fruition. SMPTE is an acronym for Society for Motion Picture and Television Engineers. This consortium developed the time code for video synchronization, paving the way for SMPTE/MIDI lock and video/video lock. This complex time code locked audio and video for spot on SFX and music sync for movies and high end video productions.

Hopefully, it won't take a mass media convention between every TV and radio network in America for agreement on a standard for the correct way to pronounce 2010, 2011, 2020, 2099, on and on - ad nauseum.

As a famous rocket scientist said in 1970, "this isn't rocket science."

The Correct 21st. Century Year Pronunciations

Based on 4 centuries of American civilization pronunciations for the passing years, I've deduced a logical and sensible pronunciation method. I believe it presents, by far, to be the simplest and shortest pronunciation tool for solving this dilemma..

  1. The year 2000 is pronounced 'two thousand.'
  2. The years 2001-2009 are pronounced 'two thousand one', two thousand two', etc., etc., etc.
  3. The years 2010-2099 are pronounced 'twenty ten', twenty eleven', twenty twelve', etc., etc., etc.

Thus, America now has a solid, foolproof standard for 'year pronouncing'.

Signed and sealed this 12th. day of the 9th. month in the year 2016 . . . (that's 'twenty sixteen'!)



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