Goodbye decade of the Oughts

I’m going to be sorry to see the end of the decade of the “Oughts,” a term that’s not used that often, even though it’s the only practical equivalent of the “Eighties” or the “Nineties,” When the decade began, and all the way through it, there was something thrilling, it felt to me like going back in time, to be talking about years the way people did in the quaint, first decade of the twentieth century, saying things like, “Back in oh three we had a tough winter,” or, “We drove across the country in oh six.”

In the next decade we’ll be saying things like, “The congressional elections will be in ten, and the presidential election will be in twelve.” That’s barebones, it doesn’t excite me as much.

In addition to connecting us linguistically and imaginatively with a past time, the Oughts were reactionary in another sense. After all, hasn’t our liberated culture been telling us since the Sixties and Seventies that we should never say that we “ought” to do anything?

- end of initial entry -

January 1

M. Jose writes:

Shouldn’t the decade be the “Oughties” rather than the “Oughts?”

Posted by Lawrence Auster at December 31, 2009 03:20 PM | Send

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