When I was a teenager (waaaaay back in the 1980s) I occasionally wondered how society was going to refer to the years after 2000. I saw several possibilities including things like ‘twenty-0-six’ (a parallel construction with, say, nineteen-0-six) or even ‘two thousand and six.’ (I have never heard anyone use ‘twenty hundred’ to refer to 2000, though.) As 2000 approached, I got the sense that most people would use the second construction.
I then wondered how years after 2009 would be spoken about and it seems clear that two constructions are still competing for dominance: ‘twenty ten’ or ‘two thousand and ten’ (2010).
Three times in the past week, however, I have heard a different construction for the year 2010 on the radio. The label for 2010 that some are using in the Vancouver radio market is ‘two ten’ as in “Vancouver is hosting the Winter Olympics in two ten.” Should this surprise me? It seems like a reasonable contraction for ‘two thousand and ten’ but it does not represent a huge improvement on ‘twenty-ten’ as far as syllable conservation is concerned anyway.
Has anyone else heard this? If so, in which cities or areas? Any linguists interested in weighing in on the processes at work here?