Re: #1 On my list of pet peeves for 1999!

Damien Broderick (
Mon, 04 Jan 1999 13:35:37 +0000

At 09:08 PM 1/3/99 -0500, Lee wrote:
>Russell W. Craig wrote:
>> 1. Every time I here someone mention that the new millennium begins
>> January 1, 2000.
>> (2001 People!!)
>I will show my lack of knowledge on this topic and ask why does it begin
>on Jan 1, 2001? My guess would be because there is no year "0"

Just so. The first century (and millennium) started on Jan 1, AD1 (because the ninny who did the calculations for the Pope around the middle of the sixth century forgot about year zero. Incidentally, it's generally accepted, I think, that Christ was born in 5 BC). Add a century to 1, get AD101. Add a thousand, get AD1001. Add two thousand, get Jan 1, AD2001. *It can't possibly be anything else*, even if heavyweights like Stephen Jay Gould get all populist and damp-eyed and go for the ignorant 2000.

The following gambit doesn't offer a very good rate of return (but then you don't risk your investment), although you might get beaten up. Go into a bar, find all the bunnies who insist noisily that the next millennium starts Jan 1, 2000. Offer them a dollar for each year that has passed since the start of the first Christian millennium until the date they say it ends, in exchange for $2000. Collect $1 from each of them and run away.

Damien Broderick