Exams: The Pending Doom

I realize now that I decided to try to start this blog at an inopportune time.  As of today, I have three more days of classes, after which I write my four exams in the first three days of our exam period.  Since I went back to class after Christmas break, I’ve worked nonstop to try to keep up with my classes, all of which have piled on material to learn and assignments to do.  Just this week, for instance, I’ve not gone to bed once before midnight.  I’ve been stuck staying up late to hack away at an assignment or cram my brain with studying.  It hasn’t been too much fun, but it will all be over on Monday, January 24th.  And once I’m done with exams, I might actually have some time to update this blog.  😛

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Sorry, it’s not the end of the decade

Yes, the new year has begun, but it’s not the new decade yet.  Sorry, but we still have another year to go before this decade is over.  So all of those “Best of the Decade” lists, such as Indigo’s Best [Books] of the Decade, Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the Decade, and Destructoid’s The Top 50 Videogames of the Decade (#10-1) are a year early, and therefore moot. And no, this decade is not actually ending with a blue moon.  All of these lists and “end of the decade” events are meaningless, since they are stemming from the exceedingly common misconception.

First of all, a decade can refer any set of ten years, but its main usage is to refer to specific sets of ten years.  The common misconception is that a decade spans from years ‘-0 to ‘-9.  This stems from referring to sets of years, such as the 1980s, as the “’80s decade”.  If a person is talking about the ’80s, they’re talking about the years spanning from 1980 to 1989, inclusively.  However, a decade in this sense actually should span from 1981 to 1990.

This is because there was no “0 AD”.  The calendar starts at 1 AD.  Therefore, the very first decade spanned from years 1-10, the second decade from years 11-20, and so on.  If you refer to a decade as a set of ten years spanning from, say, 1970 to 1979, this leaves the problem of the very first decade spanning from years 1 to 9.  This is only 9 years, and therefore, not a decade.  Whoops, that doesn’t work.  The years 2000 to 2009 isn’t actually a decade in the sense that everybody seems to think it is.

So no, the decade isn’t over, and today isn’t the first day of the new decade.  This New Years wasn’t really any more special than any other.  And all of those “Best of the Decade” lists are pointless, since the decade isn’t over.  But that’s not exactly news, since those lists are basically pointless anyways.  😛