Hunt for Good '00S Label Is a Struggle for Naught

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 15, 1998 | Go to article overview

Hunt for Good '00S Label Is a Struggle for Naught


Byline: Burt Constable

We've got the '60s, the '70s, the '80s and the '90s and then what?

What do we call the '00s?

If you are reading this column out loud (and critics suggest regular readers of this column can't help but move their lips while reading), how did you pronounce the '00s?

The ohs? The zeroes?

Being dubbed a "man of the '90s" sounds complimentary. But being labeled a "man of the zeroes" doesn't sound like something to aspire to.

My lovely wife knows many things I don't, so I ask her, "Honey, if I'm a man of the '90s now, what will I be in the year 2008?"

"Oh, probably still a man of the '90s," she predicts.

Maybe I should rephrase that question, or at least ask a smart person who doesn't know me so well. Someone who is a college professor. College professors know everything.

So, college professor, what do we call that first decade of the new millennium?

"The aughts," proclaims Michael E.D. Koenig, dean emeritus of the graduate school of library and information science at Dominican College in River Forest.

Wow! How do you know that?

"Oh, I don't know," Koenig admits. "I'm just trying to come up with something off the top of my head"

His "aught" suggestion stems from a recollection of his days as a hard-working college kid in the '60s.

"One of the jobs was to clean up rooms for the reunions," he recalls. Among the visiting alumni were members of the classes 1900 to 1909.

"That's what they called themselves - the aught classes," Koenig says.

That "aught" label may have been fine 100 years ago when college kids actually said things such as, "Twenty-three skiddoo, chum, I've got two bits, so let's skedaddle after the outcome of this gridiron contest is well in hand. We can paint the town red with the class of aught-three and pray our endeavors to find female companionship won't come to naught. …

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