March 01, 2007

I Ought to Start a Trend

If there's one thing I'm determined to do with my time on this marble orb we call the earth--and Martians call "Zzzkbl 5"--it’s to be able to lay claim to coining a term that will be used far into the future.

I harbor no delusions that I'll eventually be President or find a cure for cancer, so I’m thinking my best chance for ensuring a legacy (short of actually, you know, having children) of some sort is to come up with a term everyone will eagerly glom onto and use for at least the next 100 years.

So, if you'll excuse me for just a bit, I'm going to go tinker with the English language. . .

*tinker, tinker, tinker*


So, here it is. You know how every decade, for whatever reason, is remembered by the years during which it took place? For example, everyone talks about living in "the 60s," or how "the 70s" were the disco era, or how "the 80s" would have been such a waste if it weren't for the endless stream of musical one hit wonders. Even "the 90s" are equated with Monica Lewinsky and the stock market boom/bust. Oh, and I graduated from high school and college in the 90s, making that decade even more momentous and unlikely.

But, what about this decade? Nobody has apparently put much thought into what this decade will be called, and here we are all the way into 2007. Something must be done! And, I'm going to be that "something."

Let it be known, from this point on, the decade spanning 2000 to 2009 shall be referred to as "the Oughts." When people think wistfully or ruefully back on this first ten years of the new millennium, they will say "back in the Oughts," or "the Oughts were a unique time in history," or "don’t even get me started talking about the Oughts."

Oh, sure, people can continue to write the years out as "2002" or "2005" or "2007," but in their heads, and in casual conversation, they'll be calling those years "Ought Two" and "Ought Five" and "Ought Seven." Sure, it will sound like we're all calling out football plays, but I still think it would be an awesome way to recall this ten year stretch. I mean, who wouldn't smile when saying "Ought Four," as if the ghost of Jed Clampett was alive and well and speaking freely?

And just think of the year 2000! Good old "Double Ought!" Or "Ought Squared!"

For example, back in 2000, one of the big topics of interest in and around my hometown was a large sinkhole that collapsed outside of town near the former home of my high school classmate, Dave Coyle. Now, applying the rule of "the Oughts," I can envision one day speaking the following dialogue, in my then-to-be-patented old man voice:

"Back in my day, around the early Oughts I reckon, the earth was just collapsing all around us—Global Collapsing was what they were calling it back then. Anyway, I'm pretty sure it was around the spring of Double Ought—or 'Ought Squared' as those East Coast folk call it—when the earth just up and gave way, making a crater of a sinkhole just outside the front door of the old Coyle place. A cow dang near fell in and busted itself all up when it moseyed a touch too close to the rim of that hole—what came to be known as 'Satan’s Sphincter' around those parts."

So you see, this decade offers up a prime opportunity to bring back good, old fashioned, down home, country speak. All we have to do is commit to calling the first ten years of this unfolding century "the Oughts."

If for no other reason, do it for my legacy.

Posted by Ryan at March 1, 2007 01:33 PM | TrackBack

Everybody I know has been calling 'em "the aughts" for awhile now. I think you're a little late on this bus.

Posted by: flamingbanjo at March 1, 2007 01:37 PM


Lousy Seattle.

Posted by: Ryan at March 1, 2007 01:45 PM

There was an article back in 99 or so talking about what the decade should be called. Apparently the early 1900's were called "the aughts". The class that graduated in 1900 was "the Class of Aughtie-Aught".

Posted by: Stephen Rider at March 10, 2007 10:58 PM
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