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February 4, 2007

Finally — a mnemonic to help you remember which century you're in


It came to me not in a dream but while I was wide awake.

Of course, if you subscribe to Pedro Calderón de la Barca's epigram, "Toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños sueños son" (All life is a dream, and dreaming a dream as well), well, then, you'll ignore the remark above.

But no more, most likely, than you do everything else you read here.

Which leads me to wonder exactly why it is you bother.

But I digress.

I can't speak for you (though I often do) but as for me, well, whenever I read that something happened in, say, the fourteenth century, I have to stop and do the mental equivalent of counting on my fingers: "If the twentieth century is the 1900s, then the fourteenth is the 1300s. Okay, so it happened in 13-something."

But now there's a better way.


1) The word century refers to a 100-year-long period

2) A century ends in 00 — the last year of the twentieth century was 2000

3) Thus, the first year was 1901, and the 1900s represent the twentieth century — the twentieth go-round of 100 years

It works for me.

Would it work for Dan Quayle?

I can't say.

February 4, 2007 at 09:01 AM | Permalink


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You say potatoe and I say potato...

Posted by: Flautist | Feb 4, 2007 3:57:12 PM

Walt Disney took care of this for me! (Age check)

In the old Walt Disney TV series, there was either Walt's voice or it was written on the screen, "Dedicated to the children of the 21st Century".

I guess I never forgot that. (and Annette Funicello)


Posted by: Ray | Feb 4, 2007 12:57:43 PM

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