The year 0 AD

Peter Hullah Peter.Hullah at
Mon Jan 6 09:18:55 UTC 1997

Alex Livingston wrote:
> [Chris Carrier wrote:]
> >WRONG!  Negative year numbers are not part of the Gregorian calendar.
> Still not quite right: *non-positive* numbers are not part of the Gregorian calendar. Which 
> presents me an opportunity too hard to resist to scream something that I have never yet explicitly  
> read anywhere on this discussion group or anywhere else on the Internet. Year numbers are *ordinal*  
> (as opposed to cardinal - correct me if I've got this the wrong way round), i.e., like the day of  
> the month (and the month of the year when written numerically), they indicate the "howmanyeth" year  
> it is (I can't think how better to put it). AD 1 was the *1st* year (of the era). 1997 is the  
> 1997th year. It follows that the *1st decade* comprised the years 1 to 10 *inclusive* (the 1st,  
> 2nd, 3rd, ..., and 10th years); the *1st century* comprised the years 1 to 100 *inclusive*; the  
> *1st millennium* comprised the years 1 to 1000 *inclusive*. And 2000 will be the 2000th year and  
> hence the last year of the 200th decade, the 20th century, and the 2nd millennium.
> [snip]
> [yawn]
> [snip]

I think that, if you re-read what Chris said, he is of the same opinion
as you - as are, probably, 
most clear thinking people and we probably don't need it spelt out in
words of one syllable. 

Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of the world's population
which uses the Gregorian calendar are not right-thinking and are going
to celebrate the new
millenium on 1st January 2000, whether you or I like it or not. When we
celebrate it on
1st January 2001 the heaving masses will look upon us as blithering
idiots who've obviously
been asleep for the previous year.

We are, don't forget, talking about the same people who have, en masse,
been out and bought
new versions of Windows 95 or Windows NT  for Christmas because they
wouldn't recognise
an operating system if it fell on them. I'm sure Bill Gates will work
out how to get a few
dollars from every one who celebrates the new millenium (by copying
someone elses idea,
of course).

Happy New Year



Peter H.C. Hullah                    Technical Services
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