Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, December 08, 2021

Some way or another, we’ve managed to get through the first ten years of this century without a decadal nickname.

Some publications like Slate have chosen to trundle forward with their use of “the aughts,” a term that was also used to refer to 1900 through 1909 and is synonymous with “zeroes.” Others have tried giving it a cute spin, like The New York Times’ Fashion & Style section, which calls it “the aughties.”

Ammon Shea, author of a book about reading the Oxford English Dictionary in one year, argues that use of “the aughts” is not something that has happened naturally. “It is more an idea that some people have of the way that the term should have been used,” he says…

Leo Ribuffo, a history professor at George Washington University, doesn’t think the country’s collective indecisiveness on a word is cause for concern. “The lack of a catchphrase doesn’t mean that people don’t understand an era can be very, very important,” he says. (Although he does think the decade has the potential to be considered “pretty bland” in the long run.)

Ribuffo believes that one of the decade’s best chances for securing a label lies in a prominent figure or celebrity coming up with a term that catches on with the public, such as Tom Wolfe’s decision to anoint the 1970s “The Me Decade.”

I’m pretty amazed that it’s come this. At the turn of this century, I figured the pop-cultural penchant for labeling every little thing would have ensured a snappy moniker within a year of 2000’s ball-drop. Instead, nothing. Not only that, but I detect a fairly apathetic attitude toward the issue: Most people don’t see a particular need to give a name to this ten-year span.

I can’t believe a decade that’s included 9/11, major media transformation, and economic upheavals will go down in history as “pretty bland”. Likewise, a tidy name has to emerge to provide future reference.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/08/2021 11:34 PM
Category: History, Society, Wordsmithing
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off-ice roughing
Islanders defenseman Brendan Witt knows how to brace himself for an on-ice hit. Presumably, that professional National Hockey League training helped him literally walk away from being hit by an SUV:

Witt was crossing Arch Street [in Philadelphia] to get a cup of coffee when a gold Yukon truck made an illegal turn and hit the 34-year-old. Newsday says Witt tried to jump on the hood of the vehicle before being thrown to the ground as he was struck.

“I’m okay,” Witt told the crowd as he dusted himself off, according to Newsday. “I’ve got to go play some hockey. I’m a hockey player. I’m okay. No big deal.”

And indeed, Witt played tonight, despite his automotive run-in. Unfortunately, he and his New York teammates got thumped 6-2 by the Flyers.

Witt did come out of the game relatively unscathed: Two hits and an even plus/minus. So no ill effects. Still, I can’t believe the team didn’t insist on giving him a check-up to ensure no damage. Maybe if he has a future encounter with a tractor-trailer, Witt will take the night off…

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/08/2021 11:02 PM
Category: Hockey
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At one point during dinner last night at La Bonne Soupe (where I, somewhat ironically, did not have the soup), I was convinced that Sarah Silverman was sitting just a couple of tables over.

Then the woman got up to leave, and I could see clearly that it wasn’t her. I mean, it was certainly her, in that she was whoever she was. But she wasn’t Sarah Silverman.

I dejectedly turned my attention back to my table’s post-dessert chit-chat. I’m pretty sure my dining companions hadn’t noticed my preoccupation, nor my subsequent disappointment.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 12/08/2021 09:16 AM
Category: Celebrity, Food, New Yorkin'
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