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Readers: ‘2019’ Should Be Pronounced ‘Twenty Nineteen’

January 2, 2019 Featured, Media No Comments
Cover of a ‘Twenty Nineteen” spiral notebook from Barnes & Noble.

Happy New Year everyone! In the coming weeks I’ll post about why I’m optimistic as we enter 2019. Before that, however, I need to address an issue that drives me crazy…and, by extension, my husband crazy: how years are pronounced.

In watching television I can’t help but wonder if they’ve accidentally typed “2,018” or “2,019” into the teleprompter. If you got a bill for $2,019 you’d say “two thousand nineteen.” The bill total would almost never be $2019 — it’s generally $2,019. But we don’t use the thousands separator for the year.

You’d never write “I’m considering buying a new 2,019 truck.” Yet every Sunday morning Jane Pauley, host of CBS Sunday Morning, would say “two thousand eighteen.” Weekdays I know I know if John Dickerson opens CBS This Morning he’ll say “twenty nineteen”, but his co-hosts will say “two thousand nineteen.” Local news is hit or miss. I don’t listen to radio anymore to know how they’re pronouncing the year.

I recognize that I make grammatical errors in nearly every blog post, who am I to criticize others? I just think local/national news anchors should be held to higher standers.

Readers who responded to the recent non-scientific Sunday Poll agree with me on the pronunciation:

Q: How should ‘2019’ be pronounced?

  • Twenty nineteen: 30 [76.92%]
  • Any of the three are ok: 8 [20.51%]
  • Two thousand nineteen: 1 [2.56%]
  • TIE: 0 [0%]
    • Two thousand and nineteen
    • Unsure/No Answer

A little over 20% are open to any of the variations. I wish it didn’t bother me, but it does.

Hopefully news directors & producers will get a clue and begin to type “twenty nineteen” in the teleprompter rather than 2019.

— Steve Patterson


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