Are we in a new decade or not?

The Argument that the decade hasn’t ended or what not really does not make sense to me?

My thoughts would be that Time is measured in many different ways similar to distance. Distance can be measured in Miles, feet, inches, meters and millimeters. Similarly time is measured in many different ways such as: seconds, minutes, hours, days, years, decades, centuries and so on. So just as the day starts the moment after the clock strikes 12:00. 12:01 is the start of the new year we do not wait until 1 o’clock hits to start a new year. That logic should also apply to decades so the next decade begins the exact moment after the clock strikes 12:00 on January 1st 2020.

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The first year of a decade is year 1, the last year is year 10… Therefore 2020 is the last year of the current decade.

The years are marked AD (Anno Domini - in the year of the Lord), and mark the years after the birth of Christ (well, a guestimate, as we don’t know exactly which year it was), starting with year 1, year 10 was the end of the first decade.


Sorry but by your own logic that does not make sense to me. Time is a unit of measurement you can not measure what you don’t have.Think of it like this the exact moment you start the measurement you are at year 0000 or time 00:00 after one year passes you will then be in year 0001 so at the very start of year 0001 an entire year will have already passed. Therefore the moment the year hits 0010 10 years of time will have already passed. Therefore in the year 2020 you will have had 202 decades past so we are now in the 203 decade. As with every other unit of measurement you can not measure somehting you do not have. you can’t just start a ruller at 1 it starts at 0.


I don’t really have anything to add as it makes no difference to me, but curious if you’ve read Carlo Rovelli’s book The Order of Time? I devoured it a few months ago and it folded my brain in half in regards how we think of time.


No I have not read that book. I did spend a decent chunk of my college educatoin dealing with time and space in the context of physics.

IMO a decade is 10 consecutive years, no more. You can decide when your measurement starts.

So if someone along the way has decided the '80s is 80-89, '90s is 90-99 etc. that’s fine by me. They’re just names given to decades.

I’d have a hard time (as @JasonHowell said) getting my head around someone insisting a song in 1990 was from the '80s :grinning:


I guess my issue is how people keep saying “technically its not the end of the decade until 2021” because by your logic no one is technically wrong.

So in Summary there is no reason to say this is not the start of a new decade.

as for the terms 20’s and 40’s in general refers to the the following numbers 20-29. so if you asked a kid to count starting with the 20s he would start at 20 and count to 29 so why would we change that when referring to years. That’s like saying 10 boys are 10 male bodies but if its 10 girls then that is only 9 female body’s. I get that people can define things however they want but that doesn’t give them the right to say anyone else is wrong. If it really makes a difference in the context of the conversation ask what they consider it but don’t tell them they are wrong.

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A decade is any 10 year period. For example, I was married in a year ending in 9 (1959). In 2019, I began my 7th decade of marriage. So you can have the decades of the 80s, 90s, etc. If you are talking about the decade starting with the beginning of the AD calendar, then decade begins in 2021. There was no year zero, New years day was not January 0, 2020. There was no January 0, 0000, Dates are counting numbers and counting numbers start with 1.


Usage trumps logic every time, so don’t bother trying to be logical about it. :wink:


I get what your trying to say but just because there was no year zero does not mean that there is one less year. first off there are 12 hours on a clock and there is no 0 on a clock because they use 12:00 as 0:00 the same logic applies to years BC 1 counts as year 0 according to the ISO 8601. Also there are many different ways of tracking years and the Julian calendar (AD BC method) is just one that assigns a label to each year. The 2020 label is used in other systems like the ISO 8601 which is one astronomers, engineers, and scientists use to do more accurate calculations of time. This method does have a year 0000 which equates to BC 1 in the Julian calendar. I did not hear a single person mention the AD, Julian, or BC in reference to there new years celebrations so why should anyone assume that is what they mean?

As someone else stated - The 80’s started in 1980. The 90’s started in 1990. So, by going that way - we ARE in the new decade.


The problem stems from the confusion of usage of a measurement of a duration (a decade) versus defining when it started (the 80’s decade.) It also stems from the fact that counting decades from the turn from BC to AD means we skipped a 0th year and 0th decade. If we think of the years as decimal numbers, the first decade AD was not 0.0 to 9.99999 for a total of 10 years, it was 1.0 through 10.999999 for a total of ten years. (Do the math if you don’t believe me 10.99999-1.0 = 9.99999, which rounds to 10 years, a decade.)

This means, if you decide to try to label SPECIFIC decades by counting them (again, starting from one and not from zero), that the first decade started at 1AD and all subsequent decades have started with first year after a multiple of 10. The 2nd decade was 11.0AD to 20.99999AD (21-11 = 10.) The third decade was 21.0AD to 30.9999AD (31-21=10) and so on. The current decade, in this numbering scheme is from 2011.0 through 2020.99999, which means we are still in the 202nd decade until Dec 31st this year (2020.)

None of this abides our humanity. We like to group like with like. So we say that all 10 of the years that start with the same digits are the n’s. So the years in the 20th century that all started with 198 and followed by the digits 0 to 9 we refer to as the 80’s. Since a decade is still just a duration, this is just a different way of accounting for 10 years, because it starts one year earlier than the counting from 1AD. And confusion reigns… another great part of humanity. :wink:


this looks cool I’ll add it to my list

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Decade is a relative unit of time.
Every second of every year a new decade for someone or something starts or ends.

decade (n.)

mid-15c., “ten parts” (of anything; originally in reference to the divisions of Livy’s history), from Old French décade (14c.), from Late Latin decadem (nominative decas), from Greek dekas (genitive dekados) “group of ten,” from deka “ten” (from PIE root *dekm- “ten”). Meaning “period of ten consecutive years” is 1590s in English. Related: Decadal; decadary.

Humans just tend to add more baggage to a word, and over time they become bent out of shape and misused.

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As with many words there are multiple defenitions. Also words are defined by how they are used and that is how defenitions and language evolves over time. I think you should reconsider your judgement of missuse of the word. Maybe you shouldnt be so quick to impress your views on others but rather try to be more open to understanding where others are commnig from.

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I see your point and i fully understand your point of view and that it is based on one way of viewing decades, but i would argue that that is technaclly wrong. The Astronomical Year Numbering is technacally more acureate and does have a year 0. By this numbering system we are in decade 203 as of January 1st 2020.

The second reference is extra and specific to a relative term Century, so therefore has been given a start point by dint of context.
It does not mean the first general rule is not there.
A decade is still any 10 years from an arbitrary start point (including centuries).

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I never said a decade wasnt any ten years but its also every 10 years starting on a year ending in 0. So its not a Misuse like you were trying to say.