2000s (decade)

This article is about the decade. For other uses, see 2000s.
September 11 attacks Euro Iraq War War on Terror Social media 2008 Summer Olympics Financial crisis of 2007–2008 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami
From left, clockwise: The World Trade Center on fire and the Statue of Liberty during the 9/11 attacks; the euro enters into European currency in 2002; a statue of Saddam Hussein being toppled during the Iraq War; U.S. troops heading toward an army helicopter during the War on Terror; social media through the Internet spreads across the world; a Chinese soldier gazes at the 2008 Summer Olympics commencing; an economic crisis, the largest since the Great Depression, hits the world in 2008; a tsunami from the Indian Ocean following an earthquake kills over 250,000 on Boxing Day, 2004.
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The 2000s (pronounced "two-thousands" or "twenty-hundreds") was a decade of the Gregorian calendar that began on January 1, 2000, and ended on December 31, 2009.

The growth of the Internet contributed to globalization during the decade, which allowed faster communication among people around the world. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

The economic growth of the 2000s had considerable social, environmental and mass extinction consequences, raised demand for diminishing energy resources, [6] [7] and was still vulnerable, as demonstrated by the financial crisis of 2007–08. [8]

Name for the decade

In the English-speaking world, a name for the decade was never universally accepted in the same manner as for decades such as the '80s, the '90s, etc. [9] [10] [11]

Orthographically, the decade can be written as the "2000s" or the "'00s". Some people read "2000s" as "two-thousands", and thus simply refer to the decade as the "Two-Thousands", the "Twenty Hundreds", or the "Twenty-ohs". Some read it as the "00s" (pronounced "Ohs", "Oh Ohs", "Double Ohs" or "Ooze"), while others referred to it as the "Zeros". [10] [12] On January 1, 2000, the BBC listed the noughties (derived from "nought" [13] a word used for zero in many English-speaking countries), as a potential moniker for the new decade. [14] This has become a common name for the decade in the UK [15] [16] [17] [18] [19] and Australia, [20] [21] as well as other Anglospheric countries.

Others have advocated the term "the aughts", a term widely used at the beginning of the 20th century for its first decade. [22] [23] The American Dialect Society holds a lighthearted annual poll for word of the year and related subcategories. For 2009, the winner in the "least likely to succeed" category was "Any name of the decade 2000–2009, such as: Noughties, Aughties, Oughties, etc." [24]

When the "20-" is dropped, the individual years within the decade are usually referred to as starting with an "oh", such as "oh-seven" to refer to the year 2007. The option "aught-seven", for whatever reason, has never caught on idiomatically. When the "20-" is retained, two options are available in speech, both of which have idiomatic currency: "two thousand seven" in American English ("two thousand and seven" in the UK) or "twenty-oh-seven". During the 2000s decade, it was more common to hear the first pattern than the second. For example, the 9/11 attacks were much more commonly spoken of as occurring in "two thousand (and) one" than in "twenty-oh-one", although the latter was using or containing expressions natural to a native speaker of a language, as the first context to the year 2001 in popular culture had been the top-grossing movie 2001: A Space Odyssey (film): released in 1968 it popularised the full pronunciation as a number rather than as a year, being deliberately chosen by the author as a distant-sounding future for the science fiction setting; whereas, by the 2010s, people grew used to hearing the "twenty-" prefix in speech more often. Under this influence, it became a bit more common to refer to the individual years of the decade as "twenty-oh-seven" or "twenty-oh-eight" than it had been during the 2000s, although the "two thousand seven" pattern is still dominant.[ citation needed]