I remember thinking when I was a young kid that ‘The Year 2000’ was not only so far away, but it was a year that, God willing, I would be able to experience and be a part of. I remember calculating what my age would be when ‘The Year 2000’ finally arrived. 38…wow, that’s old to a child.
I don’t think there was anyone, anyone who would reference that year’s name as simply 2000 at the time. To me, it just seemed so strange to make reference to that particular year with ‘2000’. I, or no one else had any difficulty saying ‘1977’, ‘1986’, or any other year for that matter as long as it was below ‘2000’.
Think about it, how strange would it be for any reference to pre-2000 years as “What year were you born?”, “I was born in the year 1962.” One would simply reply ‘1962’. But no one knew at the time how to respond to such a question when 1999 moved into 2000. For me, it was almost like an incomplete thought or sentence. “2000 what?” “Oh, the Year 2000, I get it now!”
As time grew closer to ‘The Year 2000’, reference to the year was curiously shortened to ‘Y2K’. I was not happy with that designation. It was too ‘kinda-now, kinda-wow’ to me. Too ‘cute’ a reference, especially for a milestone in history that would lead us into the next century.
Then there was the fears of worldly doom and gloom scenarios and what might happen to all the computers as internal hard drive clocks moved from 1999 to 2000. I don’t think that subject skipped anyone. The discussion was everywhere, news, print,…everywhere.
I don’t think it took very long after The Year 2000 came along when society became comfortable with simply stating ‘2000’, ‘2001’, etc. It’s 2020 now and well beyond the infamous Year 2000. I wonder how society will think about all of this when The Year 3000 arrives?