10 Years - Information on Wikipedia
A decade, which comes from the Ancient Greek word δεκάς (dekas) meaning 'a group of ten', is a span of ten years. Decades can refer to any period of ten years, whether it is someone's lifespan or a specific grouping of calendar years.
Any period of ten years is considered a "decade". For instance, when we say "during his last decade, Mozart delved into chromatic harmony to an unprecedented extent," we are simply referring to the final ten years of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's life, regardless of the specific calendar years included. Furthermore, the "first decade" of a person's life begins on their birthdate and concludes on their 10th birthday. The second decade begins on their 11th birthday (even though they are still referred to as being "10") and ends on their 20th birthday. Similarly, the third decade, which corresponds to one's twenties or 20s, begins on their 21st birthday, and so forth, with subsequent decades being defined by the tens digit of a person's age.
The most common method used to identify decades is by grouping years based on their tens digit. For example, the period from 1960 to 1969 is known as the 1960s, and the range from 1970 to 1979 is referred to as the 1970s. Sometimes, only the tens part is mentioned, such as the '60s or sixties, and the '70s or seventies, although this can lead to ambiguity regarding the century being discussed. However, this method cannot be applied to the decade right before AD 10 due to the absence of a year 0.
The practice of using the term "decades" to refer to ten-year periods became popular only in the late 19th century. Especially during the 20th century, the 0-to-9 decades gained specific nicknames, such as the "Swinging Sixties" (1960s), the "Warring Forties" (1940s), and the "Roaring Twenties" (1920s). Occasionally, this naming convention is also applied to decades of earlier centuries. For example, the 1890s are referred to as the "Gay Nineties" or "Naughty Nineties".
Decade in Reverse: The 1-to-0 Approach to Grouping Years
In a more unconventional approach, years from the start of the calendar era known as Anno Domini (AD) are categorized into successive decades. Each decade begins with a year ending in 1 and ends with a year ending in 0. For instance, the years 1 to 10 are referred to as "the 1st decade," while years 11 to 20 are known as "the 2nd decade," and so on. Subsequent decades are typically denoted as "the st, nd, rd, or th decade of the st, nd, rd, or th century" according to the stricter interpretation of the term "century". This method follows a less popular convention.[a]
To illustrate, we can mention examples like "the second decad of the 12th Cent." (sic), "The last decade of that century", "1st decade of the 16th century", "third decade of the 16th century", and "the first decade of the 18th century". Alternatively, we can explicitly identify decades, such as "1961–1970", "2001–2010", and "2021–2030". It is worth noting that the BC calendar era concluded with 1 BC, and the AD calendar era commenced with AD 1, omitting the existence of a year 0.
A Comparison of Usage Methods:
Decade of transition
First decade of the initial century
Second decade of the initial century
First decade of the twenty-first century
Second decade of the twenty-first century
Third decade of the twenty-first century
Public adoption of the two approaches
A YouGov study was carried out on December 2, 2019, surveying 13,582 adults in the United States, with the question: "When do you believe the succeeding decade will commence and conclude?" Findings indicated that 64% indicated that "the next decade" would commence on January 1, 2020, and conclude on December 31, 2029 (0-to-9 approach); 17% indicated that "the next decade" would commence on January 1, 2021, and conclude on December 31, 2030 (1-to-0 approach); 19% responded that they did not know.
- Catalog of decades
- Millennial era
- Definitiou from Etymology Online
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