Tonight, lots of people will make resolutions for the New Year, look back on the old with regret, satisfaction or a combination of the two and look towards the seemingly boundless possibilities of twelve brand spanking new months to live through.
For my part, I have only one hope. It is something that I looked forward to this time last year, but which did not then materialise. It is not particularly earth-shattering, but it does make me nervous about going outside or turning on the TV tomorrow.
It has now been ten years since the turn of the millennium. Prior to that, we had been accustomed to describe our years as two sets of double digits (nineteen eighty-nine, eighteen fifteen, etc.), but the moment the millenium hit, it seemed most sensible to describe the year as a single number; to wit, the Year Two Thousand and so on. Last year, I looked forward with some excitement to the end of this pattern. It would again become fashionable to have double digit years. Twenty-ten was about to arrive.
Alas, it didn't happen. Throughout the past year, invariably and with very few exceptions, everybody has gone on saying 'two thousand and ten' despite the superfluous two syllables this added to the obvious alternative.
But this year- this year I'm certain will be the year for this important cultural language shift. People would have to be mad to say 'two thousand and eleven' rather than the much shorter 'twenty-eleven', wouldn't they?
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