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December 25, 2009

2010 (MMX) will be a common year starting on Friday in accordance with the Gregorian calendar. It will also be the first year of the 2010s decade.

Proclaimed by the United Nations, 2010 is the International Year of Biodiversity.

Pronouncing 2010 and subsequent years

Among experts and the general public, there is a debate as to how specific years of the 21st century should be pronounced in English. Although the majority of English-speakers say "two thousand X" for years of the current decade, in theory this could mean any year up to 2999.

One article suggests that since, for example, former years such as 1805 and 1905 were commonly pronounced as "eighteen oh-five" and "nineteen oh-five", the year 2005 should naturally be pronounced as "twenty oh-five", and that majority usage of "two thousand (and) X" is a result of influences from the Y2K hype, as well as the way "2001" was pronounced in the influential 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

In addition, the Vancouver Olympics, taking place in 2010, are being officially referred to by Vancouver 2010 as "the twenty-ten Olympics".Also, the London 2012 Olympics is officially known as "the twenty-twelve Olympics".

According to a recent press release, David Crystal, author of the Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, has predicted that the change of pronunciation to "twenty X" will occur in 2011, as "twenty eleven", explaining that the way people pronounce years depends on rhythm, rather than logic. Crystal claims that the rhythm or "flow" of "two thousand and ten", beats that of "twenty ten", but the flow of "twenty eleven" beats "two thousand and eleven".

Though it seems we are starting to refer to "twenty ten" already. Many news and financial institutions refer to "twenty ten". And Microsoft is releasing new versions of Office 2010 and Visual Studio 2010 - both pronounced "twenty ten".


More entries: What do you expect in the year 2010?

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