Why can't we name the next decade, either?

The 2000s proved impossible to nickname, and things are looking dire for the 2010s — judging from suggestions like "Decas" and "Tweens."

Guess what? Not only has the current decade ended before we managed to give the damnable thing a nickname, the 2010s are threatening to defy planet Earth's collective nomenclature prowess, too. Experts warn that the next decade may remain "nameless" for at least a few years while it defines itself as a new era. That hasn't stopped bloggers and other prognostigators from indulging in a little nickname forecasting. Here, nine of the most notable suggestions from the past few months:

1. The Tens: Since there's no "better term" out there, this is the clearest way to describe the decade, says Blair Currie in Media.Asia.

2. The Teens: A simple and easy term that keeps with the "numeric fundamentals" that we've become accustomed to using, say futurist Richard Worzel and University of Toronto linguistics professor Rena Helms-Park, as reported in the Canadian Press.

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3. One-ders: This "winning" entry from an Australian website contest was chosen, Reuters reports, because it "communicated a feeling, not just denoted a number."

4. The Tweens: Admittedly only a partial solution, but as Knight Kiplinger says in Kiplinger.com, this might be a useful way to identify those "those awkward 'tween years, 2010-12," during which the economy is expected to recover.

5. The Anxious Teenies: "Why anxous?" As a planet, we're just not pulling in the same direction any more, says Dan Roberts in the Daily Telegraph. And it's not just Islam vs. America: "In economic and social terms, this battle between East and West is likely to be eclipsed by a far bigger one involving the emerging economic giants of Russia, India, and China."

6. The Turnaround Decade. The next few years are about "reprioritizing" to enable "change of monumental proportions," says Cyril Christo in the Sante Fe New Mexican. After all the devastation and collapse we've endured, this is our "second chance."

7. Decas: Adam Roberts in the Economist suggests the Latin prefix for 10, noting optimistically that it could also read as shorthand for "decadents": "Sooner or later, the current angst will surely lift, giving way to a gritty optimism."

8. The Decade of Sustainability: 2nd Green Revolution also looks "to the future" with this "green" (if not exactly zingy) nickname, which puts the emphasis on solving energy and environmental problems.

9. The Decade of the Fall of America: This arguably even-less-zingy suggestion comes from Cyrus Safdari in Iran Affairs, who notes that wars, destruction, harmful toxins, and greed are defining our times, adding, "This is probably what Rome felt like in the end."


10. The Twenty Tens: Consider history, said Sol Steinmetz, the general editor of the World Book Dictionary, in a 1989 letter to The New York Times. If you track "the pattern of earlier names for first decades, be it of a century or a millennium," you'll find examples like the "nineteen hundreds."

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