#33 - 2000 or 2001 - The start of a new millennium?
January 1, 2000 is rapidly approaching. We hear lots of advertisements saying no payments until the new millennium. People are planning their parties to welcome the new millennium. Yet the stories are starting to appear that state 2000 will be the last year of the 20th century and the second millennium.
So what is it? Is 2000 the first year of the century and the millennium? Should we have the party of the millennium on December 31, 1999 or December 31, 2000?
Look at how we keep track of years. Consider our ages. I am 44 years old, but this is the 45th year of my life. We record something as a number of years old by the number of full years it has existed. There would have been no year zero. Our calendar records what year it is.
We switched to the current year system long after the years started in AD (and I definitely prefer for us to keep the correct meaning of A.D of "In the year of our Lord" and not this new strange one of "the Common Era". What Common Era, but the time since our Lord was born). By our current system there was a 1 BC and a 1 AD. Jesus was not born in the zero year but at the beginning of the first year which was year 1 or 1 AD. (Of course I realize that those setting AD and BC missed on Jesus' birth, but lets assume they were correct.) Just as this is the 45th year of my life, I am only 44. So the calendar year if established by my birth would 45 DL (Dwight's Life).
Some mathematics and computer people may try to tell you that 2000 will be the first year of the new millennium and century, because zero is a real number. Yes, zero does exist and is a number. Also quite often mathematics and computer people will work from a base of zero, which means the first item is number zero. However that is not the way the real world works. Look at the way we normally number things. The first item is #1. Mathematics and computer people will quite often start from zero. Talk about confusing my students.
So now we know the new millennium and century will not start until 2001. What does that mean to us? Fun and more fun! We can now have the chance to have two great celebrations. Lets go ahead and celebrate this year. After all we are changing the number in the thousands column in the year and that only happens once every thousand years. And then next December we can celebrate again. (Not only that all the computer people forced to miss the parties this year because of Y2K can make it to next year's party). As for that item that you bought with no payments until he next millennium, sorry but in almost all cases payments start in January 2000. However I have seen a few that actually say 2001. So go out and celebrate and enjoy the new year! Happy New Year!
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