Wednesday, January 06, 2010

What Would Dukakis Do?

This debate over "twenty ten" versus "two-thousand ten" is really heating up. There's been lots of chatter online and letters to the editor — I've even heard radio DJs discuss the issue between songs.

I've already made my choice, but this gets me thinking: Has anyone asked Michael Dukakis what we should call it?

After all, he was famous for referring to years in the past century as "nineteen hundred and...."

Here's how he concluded one of the debates in 1988 with George Bush père:
We hope that we'll be serving you in the White House in January of nineteen hundred and eighty-nine. Thank you and God bless you.


So maybe now we should be saying, "twenty hundred and ten"?

No, wait. Dukakis lost...and this annoying habit is probably what cost him the election. (Since I can't be bothered to look it up, I'm just going to assume that's the case.) All those syllables probably didn't sit right with the American people.

Plus he went to Swarthmore.

UPDATE: AP style for the pronunciation is now "twenty ten." A coalition is clearly forming here.