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Monday, November 15, 2010

What is in a name? The naughty noughties

What is in a name?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

Romeo and Juliet (II, ii, 1-2)
Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-cross'd" lovers. They are doomed from the start as members of two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", not the Montague name and not the Montague family.

The naughty Noughties  (by Ian McIlwraith)

December 18, 2009
Outstanding innovation and corporate infamy vied for prominence in the decade the millennium bug failed to kill, writes Ian McIlwraith.
Perhaps it is fitting that the first decade of this new millennium began and ended with the free enterprise system unsure whether it was facing the beginning of the end, or a hiccup on the way to new prosperity. No one was quite sure where technology would take us. Now we are not so sure the technology will take us where we need to go, in terms of limiting the damage inflicted by the human race's planetary presence.

Names for the decade from wikipedia

Unlike previous decades, the 2000s have not yet attained a universally accepted name in the English-speaking world.[8][9][10]
Orthographically, the decade can be written as the "2000s" or the "'00s". Some people read "2000s" as "two-thousands", and thus simply refer to the decade as the "two-thousands". Some read it as the "00s" (pronounced "Ohs", "Double Ohs" or "Oos"). The single years within the decade are usually referred to as starting with an "Oh", such as "Oh-Seven". On January 1, 2000, the BBC listed "the noughties" (derived from "nought" [11] a word used for zero in many English-speaking countries), as a potential moniker for the new decade.[12] Others have advocated the term "the aughts", which was widely used at the beginning of the previous century for its first decade.[13][14] By August 2010, "the noughties" seemed to have been the more established of the two terms, resulting in some 225,000 Google hits,[15] while "the aughts" resulted in some 80,000 hits.[16]
The American Dialect Society holds a lighthearted annual poll for word of the year and related subcategories; for 2009, the winner of "least likely to succeed" was "Any name of the decade 2001–2010, such as: Naughties, Aughties, Oughties, etc."[17]

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