21st Century really more than a year away

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 5, 1999

L’Observateur / June 5, 1999

DEAR EDITOR: Have I missed something? All the world seems set to celebrate Jan. 1,2000 as the beginning of the new millennium, when actually the millennium will not begin until Jan. 1, 2001. Just because 1999 will blendinto the year 2000 does not a millennium make.

I think some of the confusion may come for many with the dire predictions of the computer Y2K crisis, when ’99 becomes ’00 next year on Jan. 1,2000, which is the correct date for that occasion. But it does not relate tothe beginning of the new decade, century or millennium. They should not becombined and confused.

The new decade begins Jan. 1, 2001, and the new century begins Jan. 1,2001 and the new millennium begins Jan. 1, 2001.This glaring mistake seems to bother almost no one, a fact which I find absurd, since there are countless brilliant people and others with common sense in the world. In fact, nowadays, people in general ask “How could somany people in 1999 be wrong?” This is somewhat akin to the good question pondered when man discerned the world to be round and not flat.

The same nonsense occurred Jan. 1, 1900, we read, when it was heraldedthat the new century began with the year 1900. Our ancestors celebrated,and none seemed the wiser that it was the wrong year, for it really began Jan. 21, 1901. It would seem that man should be a little brighter a hundred years down the road.

Perhaps the new millennium can be celebrated twice. First, Jan. 1, 2000(when most everyone will be blissfully ignorant of the fact), and second, Jan. 2, 2001 (which will be the real thing, and most people will argue that it is not.)Perhaps, fortune makers can make a killing.

Jack S. SnowdyReserve

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