Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Why It Has Been So Difficult to Name the Decade 2001-2010

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

Why It Has Been So Difficult to Name the Decade 2001-2010

Article excerpt

Some decades have been named colorfully--the Sixties, the Me Decade, the Age of Reagan. But we never really got a linguistic handle on the fin-de-siecle Nineties. And the following decade has also proved tough to name.

I have been kicking around names for these years for a while. I recently came up with "The Digital Decade." However, when I searched for this name online, I found that Bill Gates had written an article with that title, which was widely published in October 2001. The spread of digital media and the increasing power of computers were accurately predicted by Gates. Looking back at the decade, we can see even television has gone digital, along with our music, our cameras, our typewriters. (Remember those?)

But there is another side to this decade which needs to be encompassed by a proper name. It is most clearly symbolized by the events of September 11, 2001, shortly before Gates published his prediction of a digital decade. The horrific deaths and the puzzling questions posed by "9-11" have lingered over the decade like a dark cloud which will not clear up. The date proved to be a turning point leading to a worldwide "War on Terror."

And this war has gone increasingly digital. Digital signals from pilots in the United States are guiding drone aircraft making military strikes in the Middle East. …

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