Another decade has begun; and people have been asking one question, “How do you pronounce 2010?”
Dr. Nancy Shankle, chair of the English department and professor of English, said no single pronunciation of the year is correct, but the choice is based on personal preference.
“Both pronunciations are in common usage right now, and both patterns may continue for a while,” Shankle said. “My recommendation is to pronounce 2010 as ‘twenty-ten.'”
Her reasoning is “twenty-ten” uses fewer syllables than “two thousand-ten.” Plus, it follows the pattern of pronunciation for most of the 20th century. For example, most people said “nineteen-sixty” instead of “one-thousand-nine-hundred-ninety-two.”
When the new millennium started, Shankle said people had to adjust their pronunciations because “twenty-one” or “twenty-oh-one” didn’t work. Now that the new decade has begun, most people have reverted to the previous pattern – “twenty-ten.”
Mitchell McLean, sophomore electronic media major from Abilene, agrees with Shankle.
“I say ‘twenty-ten’ because that is how I’ve heard it said most often, and it is easier to say,” McLean said.
Other students, such as Meredith Platt, use both pronunciations.
“If I’m talking to an adult, a boss or a professor, I say ‘two-thousand-ten,’ Platt said, “but if I’m talking with friends, I’ll probably say ‘twenty-ten’ because it sounds more casual.”
Glen Geib, junior exercise science and health promotions major from Philadelphia, Penn., said he pronounces 2010 as “two-thousand-ten” because of the familiar sound.
“I’ve been so used to saying ‘two-thousand,’ that now ‘twenty-ten’ just doesn’t sound right to me,” Geib said.
Shankle said as the decade progresses, one pronunciation will likely prevail.