Friday, March 02, 2007

The Oughties' Newest Wrinkle

We never did decide what to call this decade, did we? The 2010s will make things a little easier, but wait . . .

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, veteran Republican fundraiser Richard Viguerie said he is not optimistic about a GOP presidential victory in 2008. "I think it will be '012 or '016," he said.

That sure looks odd in print, but people do talk that way, don't they? Though the 0 in '07 most assuredly stands for the third digit in the year, not the second and third digits, "in '12 or in '16" just doesn't roll off the tongue the way "in '68 or '72" did. I let the quote run in the Post for one edition before it occurred to me that the apostrophe was required. That makes it look at least a little less queer.

(And I decided that CPAC would be the Conservative Political Action Conference, taking a cue from the event's Web site, though one could argue that CPAC is still the Conservative Political Action Committee and that this is the CPAC conference.)

4 comments:

MuPu said...

I thought that I had invented "the Naughty Oughties," but then Google told me it was someone else.

"Ought-eight" is great, but you've gotta say "twenty-twelve." I wouldn't have even quoted that trash with the "oh" or "ought" before what would otherwise be a two-digit year. Maybe this:

At the Conservative Political Action Conference, veteran Republican fundraiser Richard Viguerie said he is not optimistic about a GOP presidential victory in the next general election. A win in 2012 or 2016 would be more likely, he said.

And with just a little more information, one could recast that graf into something acceptable.

Maybe the CPA has a committee and a conference. Don't you wish organizations would consult with copy editors before naming their events? It's like there's an identity-crisis outbreak going on; and I'm sure your readers will toss us some gems.

DOV said...

mupu, I'm sure you know that a CPA is a Certified Public Accountant and those guys have their own committees and conferences. It's too bad acronyms can't be trademarked or copyrighted (or can they?). Otherwise, I guess the rule is spell out on first mention and use acronym thereafter?

Jo-Anne said...

Sorry to jump in this way, but how does one jump in with an introduction?
I have been visiting this site for about a year and finally have the confidence (she says with tongue in cheek) to join in. Hopefully, I won't make a bungling fool of myself.
I'm here to learn.
I'm from the Yukon, Canada, so perhaps I'll add a Canadian flavour (get that "u"?) to the blog.
Good to be here. Sorry to interrupt the train of thought here.

Jo-Anne said...

My understanding of acronyms is that they are put in parenthesis after the full name is spelled out at first mention, unless it is an acronym such as NHL that is so common it is understood or an acronym that is known better than the full name (radar).