“Two-thousand ten” versus “twenty ten”

Believe it or not, I’ve been waiting quite a while to write this editorial, and I think the reality of the upcoming year is prompting me to finally tackle it.

Since the dawn of the new century, we have called each year “two thousand something” as if we were counting (“two thousand one, two thousand two …”). This is probably technically correct, but whatever happened to simplicity? Not that I don’t understand why we say two thousand. What’s the alternative, “twenty hundred”?

I’m just looking for consistency. What was good for the last century is certainly good enough for this one. So here we are, on the eve of an opportunity to reconsider how we say the number that represents each year.

Right now, many of us are saying, “Two thousand ten,” following along with the precedent set almost 10 years ago. But I’ve also heard more and more people call 2010, “Twenty ten.” Personally, I think the second version, with fewer syllables, is easier to say. It would be a change for the better. Can you imagine saying, “Well, when I retire in two-thousand twenty-seven …”? It’s simply too much of a mouthful. I think “twenty twenty-seven” just rolls off the tongue easier. And don’t even get me started on 2187.

Okay, enough about that. I also wanted to chat a little about some of the articles in this issue. Michele Howland Banaszewski writes about her mother in “Reflections of a rural schoolteacher.” This feature reminds me of the stories I would hear from my parents about Oakdale School in Jackson Township, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania. They both attended this one-room schoolhouse during their elementary years, and they both believed they received a very good education. I can remember my mom stating that she would overhear older children reciting their lessons, and by the time she graduated to that level, she knew most of the material. I also heard about some great times outside during recess, playing games and sledding down the hill from the schoolhouse. They both have fond memories of their teacher, Mr. King.

This issue marks our eighth year for the photo contest. As usual, many photos were submitted. Enjoy viewing the winners.

One last item. Below you can see a shameless request to buy our 2010 calendar. We have printed a limited number, and they make great gifts. So visit www.LifeintheFingerLakes.com to order. Thank you!

by Mark Stash