In the Year Twenty Five Twenty Five

They Say Twenty Five not Two THousand Five Hundred Twenty Five

There was a futuristic hit in 1969 called In the Year 2525 by Zager and Evans, a Nebraska duo who were one-hit wonders.

Their one hit was about the rise and fall of mankind and they called it In the Year Twenty Five Twenty Five.

While I remember the song well, I hadn’t thought about it for these purposes until I ran across this post from 2007. It’s from a College Dean of Students who laments the moniker to place on the incoming freshmen class.

They, who were expected to graduate in four years, were to be the Class of ??

Here’s what he wrote…

As a college Dean of Students, I wasn’t quite sure what to call our entering class, so I just asked them. They favored “Two thousand-eleven” by about a three-to-one margin.

So perhaps that’s what the public wants to call the next decade. It seems a little odd because we said “nineteen-ninety-nine” and “nineteen-eleven.” But then “two-thousand” was clearly not “twenty-hundred,” and we’d all seen the movie “Two-thousand one: A Space Odyssey.”

But then again, I’m old enough to remember the Zager and Evans hit “In the year Twenty-five twenty-five.” So when are we going to ditch the word “thousand” and get back to counting our way through the twenties?

I’d guess that once we get past “two thousand-nineteen” the next year will have to be “twenty-twenty.” It’ll be a Presidential election year and the candidates and media will all make puns about the “vision thing” as Bush 41 used to call it. After a year, it’ll seem normal, I suppose, to go on to “twenty-twenty-one.”

He makes some very good points. But I think if we push this pronunciation guide to broadcasters and our friends, we could make great strides in changing the general public.

Say it now, Twenty Eleven. Add it to your vocabulary. Lead by Example. Say Twenty Eleven and the world will follow you.


About Gus Pearcy

Professional Communicator specializing in telling your story in a variety of media including (but not limited to) press releases, corporate blogs, social media, and public speaking. Let us tell your story.
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4 Responses to In the Year Twenty Five Twenty Five

  1. Tracy says:

    started this year already. All the soccer hype had up South Africans say twenty-ten.
    I agree that the two-thousand era has passed… or should be.

  2. Adam says:

    While I’m sure we’ll eventually switch to “twenty”
    (probably in 2011 as you hope), I wonder how it will affect
    retroactive years in the future. Will we eventually refer back to
    the “September eleventh, twenty oh-one” terrorist attacks? Or will
    we preserve the first 9 years of the 21st century as “two
    thousand”, and “twenty” for the remaining 90 years? I personally
    can’t see that happening, people living in the 2040s aren’t going
    to consciously switch to “two thousand” when referring to the years
    2000–2010. As with “nineteen oh-one (1901), I assume that 2001 will
    eventually be “twenty oh-one”.

    • Gus Pearcy says:

      Great question and observation, Adam. I think the impression made by 9/11 may preserve Two Thousand One. But you very well may be right and Twenty Oh One may become the retroactive standard.
      One thing I don’t know is how we said 1901. I wonder if jt was Nineteen hundred and One or Nineteen Hundred Aught One or some other variation. It may yield some insight into our current situation.

  3. Doug says:

    I didn’t think of this until my son recently announced his engagement. You should probably approach the creators of invitations with your idea. Of the thousands we looked at they all said two thousand and eleven. Just a thought.

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