Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1993 09:14:34 CST From: salikoko mufwene Subject: Re: name that decade In Message Sun, 12 Dec 1993 11:18:25 -0600, Dennis Baron writes: >Last night at an end of term party someone asked me what >the name for the next decade will be. What, in other words, >will come after the sixties, seventies, eighties, and nineties? >The zeroes? I allowed as how this was an interesting question, >another in the long list of questions I get for which I have >no answer. Aside from speculating and innovating (I've seen >suggestions for "the oughties, the singletons, the ohs, and >the naughties," does anyone know if there was a term for the >first decade of the 1900s? I'm talking historical, attested >forms here. > >Dennis >-- This is an interesting question that could have been asked in the first decade of every century. The phrases "the eighties," "the nineties" and the like seem to presuppose a specific century (and millenium?). They also seem to be used deictically, it that one can speak of the "nineties" with reference to the 1990's but not to the 1890's, unless some time machine moved us back to the 1800's, I guess... I need native intuitions on this. Sali. Salikoko S. Mufwene Linguistics, U. of Chicago s-mufwene[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] 312-702-8531