2020: Beginning or End of A Decade?

As people recover from a mid-week hangover of celebrating the New Year, a great debate is taking place that is forcing family, friends and the Internet to pick sides.

  • Team 0 believes that 2020 is the beginning of a new decade.
  • Team 1 believes that 2021 is the beginning of a new decade.

Is 2020 the beginning or the end of a decade?

The most common definition for the word “decade” is “a period of ten years.” A more specific definition is “a period of ten years beginning with a year ending in 0 (or, by another reckoning, 1).”

According to a YouGov poll, 64% of Americans believe 2020 begins a new decade, 17% believe that 2021 begins a new decade, and 19% don’t know. Experts believes that 2021 begins a new decade because there was no Year Zero in the Western calendar.

Keep in mind that a monk made today’s calendar 525 years after the birth of the Christian messiah. How the monk arrived at 525 was never explained, and he could have easily pulled the number out of his ass. Zero as a year was never considered since zero as a number would remain unknown in the West for another 700 years.

As I explained in my video, 56% of Americans don’t want Arabic numerals being taught in the schools. Never mind that the schools have taught Arabic numerals — zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight and nine — for the last 800 years.

A year zero does exist in Buddhist and Hindu calendars, and astronomers use zero for numbering astronomical years.

If you happen to be Jewish, the current year is 5780, or five-thousand-seven-and-eighty years after creation. The big date for that calendar system is the Year 6000 for the Jewish messiah to come back. That year should take place from the sunset of September 29, 2239, to the night fall of September 16, 2240. Maybe the Jews will have better luck with the messiah than Christians did at the turn of the Millennium.

I was a member of a Christian church that waited for the Second Coming in 1999, 2000 and 2001. Since God didn’t send out an Outlook calendar invite, we waited a few years to see what would happen. Like the Y2K bug in 1999, nothing did happen.

The fellowship tossed out the founder after the message changed from “being faithful to the end” to “being faithful to the end of your lifetime.” After putting up with him for 30 years, the fellowship wasn’t going to put up with him for another 30 years. Not surprisingly, that church fell apart and I left in 2004.

Most people think a decade starts with a zero because named decades begin with a zero and end with a nine. The “Roaring Twenties” is making a comeback these days. Never mind that the “Roaring Twenties” of the 1920s ended with the 1929 stock market crash that ushered in the 1930s as the “Great Depression” and soon followed by World War II in the 1940s.

Some people believe we are re-living those times today.

I’m with Team 0 that 2020 begins a new decade. I might be bias since I was born in 1969. My first birthday was 1970 and my tenth birthday was 1979. Any year that ends with a zero is a new decade in my life. After living five decades of my life so far, I’m looking forward to another decade.

If you want a different perspective, check out Casey Neistat’s video about the New Year.

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