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In Norwegian, "hundre år" is any 100 year period, while a "århundre" is e.g. the 1900s. So at least half of the problem is solved. A few formalists insist that the 21st century/århundre didn't start until 2001 (yet you didn't see any of them celebrating the new century one year after all the others )
(This conflict is similar to the use of 'general': To a mathematician, something a 'general' rule is unconditionally, always, valid. To common man, 'general' means 'as a main rule'. If I say that "Generally, Bergen has more rain than Oslo", a mathematician will protest: "Last week, Oslo har far more rain - in Bergen the sky was blue. It isn't a general rule that Bergen has more rain". I guess the same holds true in English: 'General' may either imply 'universal' or 'overall'. Except to mathematicians, of course.)
The reason that 2001 is held to be the start of the 21st century is that there was no year 0. It just goes from 1 B.C. to 1 A.D. Therefore, the 1st century wasn't concluded until the end of 100 A.D, and the 19th century wasn't concluded until the end of 2000.
"Oslo har far more rain". That's a good typo in either language!
I have tried to ask believers if they think Jesus was born in year 1 BC or 1 AD. It sure would have been nice if there had been a year 0 for him to be born in!
As a maths inclined person, I have problems with accepting that years are not numbered by a dense sequence of integral numbers. You are probably aware that astronomers insist on a year 0, so before year 1, they disagree with the churches (Astronomical year numbering - Wikipedia[^]).
In our office building, we have a similar problem: The elevator goes from floor 1 to floor -1 with no intermediate floor 0. To ease our mathematical minds, we have agreed that there is a floor zero, but it is virtual. For the elevator, being a real world object, it is not possible to stop at a virtual entity, so it goes directly past floor 0. (With floor 0 being virtual, it also goes by virtual time; that is why we don't notice that we are passing it on the travel time from floor 1 to -1.)
I am not sure a year 0 would have changed anything. If you ask an average person to list the ten first whole numbers, he will start at "one, two, three ... ten"; he wouldn't go from zero to nine.
Funny enough: We count age from base zero, while (assuming that I have not been lied to), in e.g. Korean culture, age is counted from base 1: Your first year, you are 1 (lunar) year old. When you have lived for 12 moons, you turn 2 years old; you are in your second year. If you as an Korean about his age, not only must he multiply by the lunar/solar year fraction, but also correct for the off-by-one base. If we had considered our year number to represent the age of Jesus - 1 AD is a year after he was born, the year he was one years old, then he would have completed 100 years at year 100 (provided that he had followed in the tracks of guys like Adam and Moses, living for a few hundred years - he didn't, but that doesn't affect the principle). If you turn 100, we celebarte your anniversary when your age turns from 99 to 100, not when it turns from 100 to 101.
A common joke is how to distinguish between a computer amateur and a computer pro: The amateur considers 256 a round number. The pro consider 255 a round number, because he is counting from base zero.
Plus, the ones on either side are elephanting fools
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, navigate a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects! - Lazarus Long
The Daily News and Lounge are part of my morning routine. I also visit when switching tasks or when I'm stumped and need to step away from a problem. If that doesn't work, then it's off to the woodshed.
Reminds me of one case mentioned in the classic book by David A. Ricks: Big business blunders - Mistakes in International Marketing (the exact title varies slightly with the editions of the book): One airline company wanted to market their VIP service internationally, referring to one service as their "Rendevouz Lounge". They were not aware that in some Latin American countries, a Rendevouz Lounge is where you go to find a prostitute.
(I haven't read that book for years. I really should dig it up and re-read it; I rememer it as a highly recommendable text!)