November 20, 2009

The Naughties End - The Tweens Begin

While there's a raging debate about what to call this decade - the New York Times solicited catchy tags from readers here - has anyone noticed that the next decade will also pose a problem: teenage years don't start until 2013. So I heartily welcome the Tweens, which, according to my research into preteenism, begin at 10. A portmanteau, the wikipedia tells us "Tween is an American neologism and marketing term for preteen. A blend of between and teen, tween in this context is generally considered to cover the age range from eight to twelve years." So, by different definitions, we're either hot in the middle of the Tweens, transitioning into them, or drunk on Tween eve - whatever the rate of this decade's preadolescence. It's true that the Obama era, in all effect, came on in 2008, & eras don't always line up perfectly with even numbers. (The twentieth century, for instance, didn't really get started until The Rite of Spring & World War I, & end until September 2001 or November 2008 depending on your political leanings.)

Back to the 2000's, I was just remarking to Miss Anna Greenberg that "It says a lot for our culture that we've been living thru it for ten years & haven't really started to call it anything. How can half a billion English speakers just tiptoe around the issue for ten years!" She responded: "how can we call it something when it hasn't ended yet!" That's true, but it's an issue that's periodically come up in the periodicals. I've always favored the naughties, or the naughty-aughties. (This year would be called "Two-naughty-aughty-nine" or "Two-naughty-naughty-nine," as I say in the MC Pseudo-Dionysius song Hillelujah.) We'll see what sticks, or if people will just eternally say "that decade".

UPDATE: I say, in celebration of the breaking dawn of the Tweens, celebrate by going out to see New Dawn! It's hard to predict the future, but easy to say with certainty that the tweens are characterized by Twilight, Twitter, Obama, tea parties, Glee, & of course itwaslost artists & writers. L'Chaim! Наздравици!

(The art at the top is classic Olaf Mary college-era whales-standing-up, two-naughty-aughty-four.)


sarah said...

Why were you researching "preteenism"?

S. Sandrigon said...

because I want to be one some day.

earspray said...

the nulls.
i think aught is far out-dated.

Anonymous said...

Naught = Aught = Zero makes it the only numerically correct way to describe this decade. To say Aughts is outdated is rubbish- it was never used in a mass marketing sort of way as radio, and hence the birth of marketing on a large scale, came into our lives in 1926.Television in the 40s. There are 2 sites dedicated to this notion. & They make sense and most people have the tendency to want to name the decade in "Age" format and not numerical format. Roaring Twenties is easily identified by the "Twenties" portion. Naughty Aughties would be similarly identified by the "Aughties" portion. It certainly has been "naughty" this decade.

S. Sandrigon said...

Hey, thanks for your support, anonymous.

Quill said...

I would argue that the 20th century ended in 1991 with the fall of the Soviet Union. It was a short century.