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View Diary: It's Not a New Decade. Yes, It Is! No, It Isn't! (164 comments)

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  •  Why there's no year zero: (2+ / 0-)
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    NYFM, Matt Z

    Because a year is not a point.  A year is a span of time.

    Zero, on the other hand, is a point.  On a timeline graduated in years and using the Christian Era, the zero point is the second of midnight where December 31, 1 BCE becomes January 1, 1 CE.

    "Year One" is not the first point on the line, but the entire span from point 0 to point 1 -- the first year following the zero point.

    The grade-line for "1" on this timeline therefore marks midnight December 31, ! CE/January 1, 2 CE: the filling, or completing of the first year in the CE reckoning.

    The line for "2009", therefore marks the completion of the 2009th year of the Christian Era, at midnight December 31, 2009/January 1, 2010.

    If we counted our years in decimals, it would now be something like 2009.002 -- .002 years beyond the 2009 mark.

    But we don't.  Instead, we count years as sequential ordinals; and by that count, we are now in the 2010th year of the Christian Era, which includes all the decimal points between 2009.00 and 2010.00.  That's just how it works.

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