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Name that decade

While much of the world scurries to conquer Y2K computer problems, some millennial thinkers are grappling with yet another problem:

What should we call the next decade and the individual years in it?

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"There's definitely no consensus," says Andrew Novick, who works in the Time and Frequency Division at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Colorado.

Judges of a "Name That Decade" contest held last October by The Washington Post considered these candidates: The Ooze, The Millies (playing off millennium), and The Naughties (playing off "aught," the term for zero) before bestowing the top honor on The Pre-Teens.

Voice of America held its own contest and drew more-global suggestions: The Philippines contributed the Empties, the Zippos, and The Roly 0s; England, The Zeroes; and China, The Zoos.

As for individual years, bond traders (who need to think 30 years ahead) refer to the years 2000 through 2009 in single digits: oh-six, oh-seven. This abbreviated approach is likely to prevail, according to Gareth Branwyn, "Jargon Watch" columnist for Wired magazine.

Source: Associated Press

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