How do you pronounce 2013?

As I was busy preparing our New Year’s Eve dinner in the kitchen yesterday and listening to Classic FM, the announcer kept going on about the maths teacher somewhere who had said that we shouldn’t say ‘twenty-thirteen‘, because the correct pronunciation was ‘two thousand and thirteen‘.  Although I didn’t get my knickers in a twist over it (at the time), I disagreed with him, thinking “no, the correct way IS twenty-thirteen.

Then this morning, I started to think about the year just gone and the year still to come, and found that my preferred way of addressing the year was indeed ‘two thousand and thirteen‘. I asked Sharon what she thought and she agreed that we DID previously say two thousand and twelve; not twenty twelve so why should we change now?

Why indeed!

However, we never said ‘one thousand nine hundred and ninety nine‘ always referring to twentieth century dates as ‘nineteen something or other‘. So why are twenty first century dates so debatable?

Why indeed?