Great question! I’m glad I asked it!
Lately, my Facebook friends have questioned why I would invest so much time into this issue. It’s a valid question. I’m not sure I have a valid answer.
My life is communications. I strive to find the best and most effective styles and phrases that communicate exactly what we think. There are so many barriers to effective communication. There are individual feelings and frames of reference that impede easy communication. So I enjoy it when everyone is on the same page because it makes communication easier.
Since 2000, we have been saying Two Thousand for the year and adding on the appropriate digit. This has been fine up until the upcoming year. Now it will start to get difficult. Not just because Two Thousand and Eleven is cumbersome, but because several people will adapt Twenty Eleven and several won’t. There will be this upheaval in our collective conscience. We will be discordant on this issue and there really is no need to be.
Twenty Eleven follows the same pattern that has been used for centuries. We have always said Nineteen Sixty Two rather than One Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Two because it is easier. We have even laughed at people who say Nineteen Hundred and Sixty Two because it seemed old fashioned.
Why is this different?
This is an eventuality. Those who resist now will fall prey to the year 2020, because it will be so much easier to say Twenty Twenty and it will feel right.
Twenty Eleven is just as convenient and historically correct as Twenty Twenty, but many will continue the same habit of saying Two Thousand Eleven. My wish is that we all feel comfortable with saying Twenty Eleven and begin to adopt this new standard.
So the marketer in me believes that this is worthy of a campaign to raise awareness. Unless people make a conscious effort to say Twenty Eleven, it will never happen. And we will relegate our culture to saying Two Thousand Forty Five and so on, for the next 89 years.
Join my revolution. Invite others to join our Facebook page and become aware of the new standard that rings traditional. In the New Year, Say Twenty Eleven and Save a Syllable. You’ll be glad you did.