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When Does a New Decade Start?

Does a decade start at 0 or 1? Just look at the second-to-last digit and you’ll have your answer.

Opinion page by Duane Alan Hahn.

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Page last updated on: 2020y_01m_12d_1013t [Page created on 2020y_01m_11d_1929t.]

Since so many people seem to love the 1980s, let's use that as an example. When you think about the 1980s, does it start at 1980 or 1981? Most people would probably say 1980 and I would agree. The second-to-last digit is an 8, not a 7. In the case of 2020, the second-to-last digit is a 2, not a 1, so we're already in the new decade. For those who don't know, that second-to-last digit is called the tens digit. Since a decade is a period of 10 years, that tens digit sure does come in handy.

 

Another example is that we don't say babies are born when they reach their first birthday. They are alive for a whole year (and many months before). The time between zero and one is always included.

 

Don't let trolls, misguided do-gooders, or wannabe know-it-alls confuse you. The second-to-last digit (tens digit) will always tell you what decade you're in.

 

It doesn't matter that there was no “year zero.” There were plenty of zeroes after year one and those zeroes have been very useful for defining a bite size packet of time. Just going back a handful of decades in the USA, each decade from zero to nine seems to have a different flavor. The 1950s were different from the 1960s. The 1960s were different from the 1970s. The 1970s were different from the 1980s. The 1990s were those horrible years between the 1980s and the 2000s.

 

Someone mentioned that we could call any 10 year period a decade. For example, 1984 to 1993 is a decade. Of course, we could chop up those 10 years any way we'd like, but what easy way could the average person call 1984 to 1993? The 198493s? It wouldn't work anyway since 1993 was completely contaminated by the 1990s flavor. Thank God for the invention of the zero. No need to complicate something that has been working for MANY decades. That tens digit lets us know which decade packet we're in and that zero allows us to categorize each packet. What will the 2020s packet taste like? I guarantee that the flavor will be a heck of a lot different than most of the decade packets that came before it.

 

By the way, 2020 is the year of the rat. Since a Q looks like a fat rat with a tail, we're supposed to use 2Q2Q instead of 2020. Have a happy 2Q2Q everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

In Case You Didn’t Know

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Negative ions are good for us. You might want to avoid positive ion generators and ozone generators. Whenever I need a new air cleaner (with negative ion generator), I buy it from surroundair.com. A plain old air cleaner is better than nothing, but one that produces negative ions makes the air in a room fresher and easier for me to breathe. It also helps to brighten my mood.

 

Never litter. Toss it in the trash or take it home. Do not throw it on the ground.

 

Hydrofracking is bad for you, your family, your friends, and the environment.

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