Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Naughts - Worst Political Decade Evah!

Says Reason TV:



Hah! Pretty funny - and pretty sad - all at once

(H/T Ann S.)


By the way: Some say aughts... but it is more correct to say naught (according to wikipedia)
In English, "naught" and "nought" mean the number 0, or a figurative "nothing", whereas "aught" and "ought" (the latter in its noun sense) strictly speaking mean "all" or "anything", and are not names for the number 0, even though they are sometimes used as such. There are various subtleties of usage amongst them all.

The words "nought" and "naught" are spelling variants. They are, according to H. W. Fowler, not a modern accident as might be thought, but have descended that way from Old English. There is a distinction in British English between the two, but it is not one that is universally recognized. This distinction is that "nought" is primarily used in a literal arithmetic sense, where the number 0 is straightforwardly meant, whereas "naught" is used in poetical and rhetorical senses, where "nothing" could equally well be substituted. So the name of the board game is "noughts & crosses", whereas the rhetorical phrases are "bring to naught", "set at naught", and "availeth naught". The Reader's Digest Right Word at the Right Time labels "naught" as "old-fashioned".


Naughts - A decade such as that from 1900 to 1909 A.D., or 2000 to 2009, where the digit in the tens place is zero.

1 comment:

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

About the naughts. We wish they were not.