Letter: Myth of the century

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Dr Williams should have stayed silent a little longer. It is not Christianity we are preparing to celebrate but numerology.

I do not know what accident of history decreed that the year starts on 1 January and I do not care. But I find it a useful and widely used reference point to divide up annual periods of my life. Decades and centuries, a consequence of our adoption of base 10 for counting divide arbitrary periods into comprehensible chunks. Nobody ever questioned when they started. It was when the year ended in a zero. By another accident of history, another big chunk of time is about to begin. It is not the two thousandth anniversary of anything, but simply two thousand years.

I, like many others, including whole nations of non-Christians, will be celebrating the calendar flipping over to reveal a big round number. And it is comforting to know that all the pedants will be a year late for the party.

I'm sorry if I seem a little aggrieved, but these Christians have got to be stopped. They will be trying to claim Christmas next.

SEAN WOODS

London SW12

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