When does a decade begin?

I have been hearing (and reading tweets) of people who are laughing at those of us proclaiming the beginning of the new decade. They say the next decade doesn’t begin until 2011… because, a decade is ten years, and we never start counting at zero… we start at one. So, if you start counting the numbers, we don’t hit the tenth number until we say eleven. It is the same reason Arthur C. Clark argued the 21st century did not start until 2001 (such an oddity, eh?).

I am one of the “fools” saying happy new decade. Here is why: How old are you on your first birthday? Life, when you count it, begins at zero. Zero is a number. When you reach your tenth birthday, you have lived a decade, and you begin a new decade. You start counting your second decade with another zero written next to a one. Your second decade is over when you replace the one next to the zero with a two. It is the beginning of your second decade.

So, because there was no zero on the Gregorian Calendar, you may believe that a decade doesn’t begin until the tenth year is over. But I say this… the Gregorian Calendar is based on the birth of Jesus. So, those who started counting at one are wrong… there was no year zero.

But there was The Birth of The Incarnate… then the first year. Yes, our calendar has year 1 AD (Anno Domini) is preceded by one BC (Before Christ), Okay, for those of you who are Athiests, BCE (Before Common Era.) but just because the calendar started on the wrong foot, so to speak, doesn’t mean a decade doesn’t start on the number ten.

Anyway, I ramble now… suffice it to say, we are in the next decade.


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