No, Tomorrow Is Not The Start Of A New Decade

If you’re thinking tomorrow is the start of a new decade, you are one year too early. The next decade doesn’t start until January 1, 2011. It seems when it comes to the calendar, many people can’t count. I remember when everyone thought Y2K was the start of the new millennium. Those are the same people who think the new decade starts tomorrow.

There Was No Year Zero

Simple logic and the ability to count will tell you when a new decade or millennium begins and end. A decade is ten years. Since there was no year zero, ten years is year 1 to 10 and a new decade starts at year 11. In other words, the last decade was 2001 to 2010. We are heading into the end of the decade, not the start of new one.

I guess this mistake isn’t as a bad as the Y2K mistake when everyone though January 1, 2000 was the start of the 21st century and the new millennium. Way more people were talking about that as year 2000 approached. It’s a good thing I only have to deal with that once every 1000 years. However, enough people are calling 2010 the start of a new decade to irritate me enough to write this post.

I feel better now. Happy New Year! πŸ˜›

80 thoughts on “No, Tomorrow Is Not The Start Of A New Decade”

  1. Enjoy the start of a new decade! Happy New Year!

    1. AlbertoPL says:

      Apparently you missed the point of the post…

      1. trilo says:

        This little exchange just literally made my year. Perfect!

      2. Pyjammez says:

        I can imagine John Chow hopping on a table at his 40th birthday yelling at everyone “You morons, it’s my 41st birthday party, not my 40th! I may be 40, but it’s my 41st birthday party. Get it right idiots!

      3. No,I think he got it!

      4. We’re just talking about a technicality here.

    2. But it is according to Newman and Kramer:

        1. Very funny! I remember that one.

  2. I worked my b*tt off today, to explain this to my friends … Now, I can just point them here … Thank you John!
    Happy New Year!

    1. Happy new year everybody! May 2010 be filled with peace, love and abundance for everybody! Enjoy!

  3. Eagle_i says:

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    Keep up the great work and God Bless you!!!!

    Happy New Year to you as well!!!!!

    1. John’s a good guy. He’s funny but can be pretty serious at times. I suspect he was yelling and screaming at his computer screen when he was writing this πŸ˜›

  4. Anonymous says:

    Actually, it has nothing to do with people’s ability to count but rather, from where they start counting. A simple explanation that there was no “Year 0” would solve the issue more effectively, as opposed to insulting the intelligence of others.
    Perhaps you should work on your self-esteem in the New Year so that disparaging others isn’t your only means of uplifting yourself. Happy New Year!

    1. John Chow says:

      Anyone who thinks 2010 is the start of a new decade has no intelligence to insult! πŸ˜€

      1. Eric Dobson says:

        That’s funny. My dictionary defines a decade as a period of ten years. We could just as easily celebrate 2009 as the start of a new decade, or for that matter, celebrate the start of the next ten years beginning right this second.

        Is this really the type of thing you want to spend even a small amount of life getting upset about?

      2. That guy should start his own church…

      3. Happy new year anyway John.

  5. Morgan says:

    Great point John and one I think many people miss – either way 2010 is going to be a great year!

    1. Lets hope so! I could use a good year…

  6. Kristina says:

    First of all, I would like to say Happy New Year, and secondly, you are right πŸ™‚


  7. Pallab says:

    I remember getting really pissed off last time around when everyone was welcoming the new millennium a year too early. But, then I realise that most people already know. They just want to exploit the event twice. And why not? You can create your Best darn thing in a decade this year and then come back again next year and just do it again. So twice the profit for you.

  8. poorwebguy says:

    Sounds pretty goofy to me.It’s all really just a matter of where you start counting. There was no year 0 in our calendar but we could probably count back forever technically. A matter of choice then?

    As far as I’m concerned, it has been 10 years since 2000 so new years signifies the beginning of the second decade in the third millennium AD.

    There are alot of people that refer to decades by names like “the 90’s” etc. Nice and neat…none of this “the 90’s+2000” stuff.

    To each his/her own though I guess.

    1. but the beginning of 2001 was the start of the first decade in the third millennium AD… the year 2000 was the last year of the second millennium… because of no 0

      you sir… missed the point

      1. poorwebguy says:

        2000 started my first decade in the third millenium and so 2010 will start the second. Just like 1999 was the end of the 90s for me not 2000

    2. John Chow says:

      Well, as far as I’m concern the sun moves around the earth because when I look up in the sky, that’s what I see. However, that doesn’t mean I’m right. But you can go on thinking that we’re in a new decade. πŸ™‚

  9. The Net Fool says:

    Haha, I actually just assumed it was a new decade because of the number… I didn’t actually rationalize it out, definitely going to get some people at the bar tonight on that one πŸ˜‰

    1. You’re among many people. Don’t feel stupid.

  10. Nils says:

    I know that the next decade beginns officaly 2011, but for my personal use the next decade beginns tomorrow. You argument about a definition. John is mathamatically right, but a lot of people (including me) use their own definition.

    So a definition is a definition and it is not right or wrong. I can’t see that the difference between these two kinds of definitions of a decade has any serious effect on something.

    Anyway: Happy New Year to everyone!

  11. chester says:

    Yup, there is no tomorrow without your today. But today is always there for you to make a move. dont stop keep moving.

  12. chester says:

    Yup net you can share it to others while making your today

  13. I think this is hillarious but so very true

  14. Ashley says:


    I don’t mean to nit-pick but I think you might be wrong about this. I’m no theologian but I think there actually was a year zero – even though they might not have known it at the time. Year zero was simply the year before year one… right? There’s got to be some historians who could better answer this but I’m not sure your premise is correct (it might be, I don’t know) that there was no year zero.

    1. Actually, Ashley, the Christian calendar begins with the year 1 (crazy, isn’t it?).

      According to Wikipedia, the Indian calendar is the only one which starts at 0.

  15. Certainly its not a start of a decade but yes this will be end to a decade as well.

    People who think that this is start of a decade, they are bit more pessimistic with less knowledge of math πŸ™‚

    1. It’s still a 10 year period from 2000 to the start of 2010.

  16. fas says:

    Big deal, how does it matter antywas?

    1. Lol, I have to agree with you. Who cares? Happy New Year anyway though!

  17. Greg says:

    Actually, it’s not really 2010 or 2009, our date is just an arbitrary number it’s more like 13-14,000,000,000 somewhere in that range for the year,

    The only reason we say 2010 is because we decided to start our calendar when Jesus was born. But reality is that if you measure humans then it’s been at least 200,000 years. But if your talking about modern civilization then in “Sumer” aka modern Iraq then the true date is more like 5010.


    1. Actually every day is the start of a new decade. Jus t count 10 years from today’s date and you’ve got your 10 years.

  18. The idea that this is the year 2009 is not so clear cut. People didn’t start even thin k about what “year” it was until the 1600’s and it was pretty much a guess at how much time at passed since historical events. There is an interesting book called “The Lost Millennium” by Florin Diacu that puts forth a pretty strong argument that we may be off by as much as 1000 years, and it might be closer to the year 1000 than then year 2000. So complaining that we are off by a year doesn’t make much sense – we might be off by as much as 1000 years, and there is no way to accurately pin down dates from history. So if someone wants to call this a new decade, let them. Its just an arbitrary number.

  19. S Ahsan says:

    Happy New Years John πŸ™‚

  20. Nick says:

    It’s so true, I think many people miss. However, Happy New Year!

  21. Nice rant John. Never thought I’d see the day where you’d be complaining about if it’s a new decade or not πŸ˜›

    Happy New Year!

  22. Mark says:

    The start of the decade is arbitrary, and I choose to start it now. Yes, I understand that there was no Year Zero. However, it’s not like Year One was the beginning of time. There were obviously many years before that. Do you know what the first year was *really*? If not, then *any* year is equally likely to be the beginning or ending of a decade. It certainly doesn’t seem intelligent to me to get so worked up over something so arbitrary.

  23. So the Roaring Twenties didn’t include 1920? Or is it wrong to call that a decade?

    I get what you are saying but sometimes you just have to go with the flow. πŸ™‚

    1. John Chow says:

      And we all know that the ’80’s didn’t end until 1999. One is a unit of measurement. The other is a description.

      1. The 80’s didn’t end till 1999? Don’t you mean 1991?

  24. More important than whether or not it’s a new decade is the way we are going to say “2010” – It’s “Twenty-ten” not “Two-thousand and ten”

  25. Michael says:

    I am hoping it is a new decade, this one has not been one with a lot of ups to it. Mostly just downs and I am looking for an new start. Watching the clock with high hopes!!

  26. well this post has brought about the most entertaining comments of any post i can remember reading here.

    whatever year it is or isn’t i just hope it’s a good one. In fact instead of hoping, i have decided that i will make it a good year.

    here’s to making 2010 a great year.

    (apparently at 4:39 a.m. my time, my comments get a little cheesier than usual)

    time for bed . . .shouldn’t have had so many redbulls tonight

  27. Naomi says:

    I learnt this in primary school at history classes.

    It’s unbelievable how many people don’t know this.

  28. Will says:

    Going from ‘9’ to ’10’ seems to be a good point to change decades IMO, when the ‘bit shifts’ rather than between 10 and 11.

  29. This is so funny John. Me and my brother talked about this exact thing yesterday. Hilarious and yet true. Very good point because this is all you hear people talk about incorrectly. Also, have a happy new year John. To good times and success. Best wishes!

  30. How do you know there was no year zero, were you there? Maybe they had the forsight to know this argument was going to come up and they actually did start in year zero.

    1. John Chow says:

      That’s why we have history books, or in our generation, PDFs and Google search. πŸ™‚

  31. I’ve got to honestly say that I did not this – I thought today was the start of the new decade.

    However, we had a blue moon last night and won’t get another until 2028. That’s a long time to wait. Happy new year.

  32. Miridia says:

    Eternal questions:-D

  33. Anonymous says:

    Regardless of what year it is, it’s nice to know that being a d*ck about technicalities is timeless. πŸ™‚

  34. What’s all this commotion about? It’s 2010 and that’s all we really need to know πŸ™‚

    Have a good one everyone!

  35. Paul B says:

    I wish I was as clever as John Chow, he can do maths and stuff.

    1. Don’t need to be clever to do math, just get a calculator.

  36. Chelle says:

    Thank God I’m not the only one completely bugged by this!

    Thank You!

  37. This is so true, everyone thinks that I am just crazy, but apparently they just cant count. Good post John.

  38. chester says:

    Can;t beleive that just a short while ago we were talking about y2k and the end of the world. The end has been delayed till 2012.

  39. Click says:

    Nice rant Mr Chow, but you supply no frame of reference, so you are plain wrong.

    The common understanding and usage of decades has no relation to the beginning of the Gregorian calendar. The 80s was the period from 1st Jan 1980 to the 31st Dec 1989. The year 1990 is not in the Eighties.

    Likewise, the 1810s encompass 1810 to 1819. 1820 is the start of the eighteen twenties.

    No one (apart from pedantically inclined who can’t look anything up) thinks that decades run xx01 to xx10.

    Now, the 201st decade in relation to the start of the Gregorian calender DOES run 2011 to 2020, but again no one uses that term to mean ‘decade’. We talk about the decade of “The Sixties” as running 1960 to 1969, 1970 is not in the sixties!

    Regarding the whole Gregorian calender thing in any case, it is non-logical and has been superseded by ISO 8601 and the Astronomical year numbering system, both of which DO have year zero, and are therefore more logical, workable, AND tally with everyday understanding. Win – win.

    1. Paul B says:

      ISO 8601 For the win. Cracking comment.

  40. Too many people kept thinking that it was the change of a decade.

  41. It is the start of a new year, though, right? Happy New Year if it is.

  42. Haha wishful thinking for some I guess.

  43. Kaja says:

    So does this mean the world is going to end on December 21, 2013 instead of 2012?

  44. It might be sooner with whats on the new these days =/

  45. sohbet says:

    Happy new year if it is..

  46. Custom Essay says:

    Now matter how we play with words, I hope that it must be the new dawn, without economic recession and war.

  47. Bidet says:

    Even though its not the start of the new decade, it should be a good year regardless. Happy new year to everyone.

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