Letter: Nameless years

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Mary Hodges asks what we are to call the years in the next decade (letters, 5 August). I have always heard 1901 referred as Nineteen- Oh-One, so what is wrong with Twenty-Oh-One for the first year of the 21st century, and so on?

Was that a typing error? No, the last year of the present century, in spite of all the razzmatazz planned for the end of this December, will be 2000 and the next century will start on 1 January 2001.It would be interesting to know if the same "mistake" was made at the end of the 19th century; was the changeover celebrated on the night of 31 December 1899 or correctly on 31 December 1900?

RUFUS ISSACS

Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire

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