What year is this?

Two thousand ten. Twenty ten. Two different ways to say the same thing for the next 363 days — and more, I suppose, until we get to 2100. When I was in elementary school we always played word games with how “the people of the future” would say the year once we reached this critical juncture in 2010. Now that we’re here, it isn’t so much of a game.

As reported by the New York Times back in November, the decision about how to say the year can carry big repercussions for marketers — in this particular case, car manufacturers. Go with “twenty ten” and you’re too ordinary. Stick with the past decade’s phraseology (i.e., two thousand ten) and you’re formal and sophisticated. After spending so much effort on TV, print, and online ad production budgets — let alone development of the cars themselves — it’s a big deal to go ordinary when you should be extraordinary. And vice-versa.

In a radio show on KLBB AM 1220 yesterday with @karinhousley@sarahjaneml offered up yet another option: 2K10 (two kay ten). Maybe for the next Scion or youth auto models?

As for me? I’m not yet committed, but might just stick with “two thousand ten.” I like the connection to the past decade. And some don’t consider the “aughts” finished until after the tenth unit (2010) is through anyway.


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