April 3, 2010 in Features

Name for decade remains hot topic

Kathy Mitchell/Marcy Sugar
 

Dear Annie: I’d like to respond to “Confused in Phoenix,” who asked what to call the past decade. In Hawaiian, the word “puka” means a small hole or void. During WWII, Gen. Mark Clark led the men of the 100th Army Battalion, made up mostly of Pacific natives, including Sen. Daniel Inouye, a member of the “Go for Broke” 442nd company. The 100th Battalion soon became known as the “One Puka Puka” Battalion.

Today, we have puka shell necklaces, so it seems only natural for us to have the puka decade, puka kids and the puka generation. It may be regional, but it does warm the heart, and I would rather call my grandkids little puka kids than zeroes, aughties or Oh’s. – Puka Grandparent

Dear Grandparent: Very cute – as long as they pronounce it right (or maybe not). Our readers seemed to enjoy weighing in on this topic. Read on for more:

From Tallahassee: It is obvious to many in the U.S. that the truest name for the past decade is “The Oughts,” for we didn’t do the things we ought to have done and did plenty of things we ought not to have done.

Northern Calif.: I’ve heard people call the years since 2000 “the early 2000s.” However, considering that this decade has given us the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, outbreaks of swine and avian flu, Hurricane Katrina, the Great Recession, sexting, and a gaggle of ridiculous shorthand and combo words (BFF, LOL, frenemy, ginormous), a more accurate name would be “The Oh No’s.” In addition, it will solve the problem of naming the next decade by giving us “The Oh No Not Agains.”

Oxnard, Calif.: Why do people insist that the decade has ended? It will end in December 2010. Can’t people do the math? There is no year zero. Our calendar starts on year one. The new millennium started Jan. 1, 2001, not 2000. The decade will end on Dec. 31, 2010.


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