Millennium Musing

December 28, 1999

Go get 100 pennies. Go on, get 'em. I'll wait.

...

Now start counting them. What number did you start with? If you are like most people you started with the number one. Not zero, but one. Hmmm.

Do you suppose that one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine years ago they counted the same way? I'm willing to bet that they did. This means that the first year AD was 1.

Now. What's a century? 100 years. So. If you start with 1 and continue for 100 years you will be at year 101. Year 1 is the start of the 1st century. Therefore it follows that year 101 is the start of the second. 201 is the start of the third. And so forth.

Guess what?

Year 2000 is the last year of 20th century. And Year 2001 is the first year of the new century.

And, oh by the way, 2001 is the start of the new millennium. Like it or not.

Not that any of this really matters. Like everyone else I like seeing the odometer roll over to a number followed by all those zeros. And for most of us the start of Year 2000 is the biggest roll over, calendar-wise, we are likely to see. However, I just cringe at the thought of going through all this media millennium hype again next year when all the advertisers figure out that they can have another millennium this or that.

Happy New Year.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.