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Thread: Pronouncing dates

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    Pronouncing dates

    Hi there,

    How do native English speakers pronounce dates above 1999?

    I know that such dates are pronounced in pairs:
    1999 - nineteen ninety nine
    1241 - twelve forty one
    1740 - seventeen forty

    Well, how about 2000 and above?
    Is 2009 pronounced like two thousand nine or twenty oh nine? Or some other way?

    Thanks.
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    Завсегдатай rockzmom's Avatar
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    Re: Pronouncing dates

    Hi Blacky!

    I am in the Washington, D.C. area of the eastern U.S., and over in this area we say...
    Two Thousand AND Nine.

    Next year it will just be... Two Thousand Ten, Two Thousand Eleven and so on...
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    Re: Pronouncing dates

    Ok, thanks. If I say "two thousand nine" (without and), will it be ok to hear?
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    Завсегдатай chaika's Avatar
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    Re: Pronouncing dates

    I live in North Carolina, never hear the "and" in any dates. Just two thousand nine, etc. It is not a southern thing, either, as I am from the midwest. I would recommend you omit the "and".

    Pretty soon, though, we'll be saying twenty twelve, but not yet.

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    Re: Pronouncing dates

    Alrighty. Thank you.
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    Re: Pronouncing dates

    I always hear "two thousand nine" on Eurosport.
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    Re: Pronouncing dates

    Ok, so it seems I am the odd man (lady) out here so I looked on line to see if it truly is me and I found an interesting entry in Wiki about it all.. (well at least I thought interesting).

    It looks like I pronounce it with the AND because I have been influence by “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

    Thanks for a great question Blacky!!!!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010

    Academics suggest that since former years such as 1805 and 1905 were commonly pronounced as "eighteen oh" or "nineteen oh" five, the year 2005 should naturally have been pronounced as "twenty oh-five".[1] Many experts agree[citation needed] 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.

    Many people[who?], including linguistic and academic experts, predict that the "twenty X" pronunciation method will eventually prevail, but a time frame as to when this change will occur often differs. The year 2010 is suggested by many[2][3], while 2011[1] and 2013 are popular as well. The latest time frames for change are usually placed at 2020[1].

    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 out that of "twenty ten", but the flow of "twenty eleven" beats out "two thousand (and) eleven".[1] Alternatively, Ian Brookes, editor-in-chief of Chambers Dictionary, suggests the change will occur in 2013. And finally, the UK Times has suggested 2020 as a final time frame for the change, saying "If people can have “twenty-twenty” vision, then surely they should also live in the year “twenty twenty”.[1] The team which organized the successful bid to host the Olympic Games of 2012 in London, styled the year they will hold the games as "twenty twelve".

    In addition, some notable organizations are already switching to the "twenty" system. The favored description for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada is the "twenty ten" Winter Olympic Games, the 2010 FIFA World Cup is stated as the "twenty ten" FIFA World Cup, South Africa & the 2010 Commonwealth Games, India prefers the description of this Event as the "twenty-ten" Delhi Commonwealth Games, India.

    Some suggest[who?] that after the "twenty X" pronunciation for current and future 21st century years has taken hold, future references to early 21st century years will change accordingly from the previous "two thousand (and) X" method; thus, they say, future generations will refer to the date of the 9/11 attacks in the United States as September 11, "twenty oh-one", just as 1911 was referred to as "nineteen hundred and eleven"[citation needed] at that time, but has since been shortened to "nineteen eleven".
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