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March 28, 1999 - Winners of the Name the Next Decade Contest - 2002-02-06

INTRO: It's time now for the results of the Wordmaster Name the Next Decade Contest. Here to present some of the top entries are VOA's Wordmasters, Avi Arditti and Rosanne Skirble.


AA: We begin with an appropriate selection, music from the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey." That classic science-fiction journey inspired a timely entry from one of our youngest listeners. Her suggestion for what to call the next decade pays tribute to legendary film director Stanley Kubrick, who died earlier this month.

RS: Twelve-year-old Tania Ving of Mauritius, a student at Loreto Convent Secondary School in Port Luis, writes:

"I've seen the movie many times, and I do believe that one day in the next century, something which Mr. Kubrick and all of us who can only dream of will become a reality."

AA: So in memory of Stanley Kubrick, Tania Ving suggests the word "odyssey" for the year two-thousand and beyond.

RS: That was one of the many suggestions we received from listeners in forty-five countries. As we promised, everyone who entered wins a prize, the better the entry the better the prize.

AA: The entries ranged from the functional --- like "First Decade," the single most popular theme -- to the philosophical. Let's call the first category the "zeros" in honor of the letter we received from Cy Hinton in England. He writes, "we ought to call the first decade the 'zeros,' but since people wrongly speak of the number zero as 'o' (which is a letter) most folk will probably talk of the 'o's. ' "

RS: You're right about that, if you consult primary school teacher Serge Remy from France. He suggests -- you guessed it -- the "o's.

AA: These entries also fit loosely into the "zero" or "o" category: the "Double Nothings" from Israel, the "Zilches" from India, the "Oh-Zone" from New Zealand, and the "Oh Somethings" from Iraq.

RS: Now moving on to the "technological name category," the winners are:

AA: "Cyber Decade (from South Africa), the "Digy Ten" suggested by longtime listener cherry Ann Moore in Trinidad. "Digy Ten" comes from the words "digital technology." We also got these entries from Trinidad: "Ten Dot Com," "the Early Sci-Space Years," and the "First Cyber Ten of the 21st Century)."

RS: We also heard from some pessimists. In this category the entries included "Hazardous" from Malaysia, and these words from 25-year-old Iranian English teacher M. Hosseini: "Of course in the turn of the century, we will have too many awkward problems -- and chief among them 'exhaustion of natural resources.'"

AA: But the future looks bright to Chiaka Celestine from Nigeria, who writes, "I wish to name it the 'decade of great achievement and fulfillment. '"

"I name it so," Chiaka Celestine writes, "because in most countries especially the developing ones, the next decade is seen as the target period for the achievement and fulfillment of lots of things. Take for instance, the talk of health for all by the year 2000, food for all by the year 2000, vision 2010 in Nigeria."

RS: We also got some practical advise on how to say each individual year. From Costa Rica came the suggestion two-mil, two-mil-one, two-mil-two. From China: zero year, zero one, zero two. From India: 2-thousand-one, 2-thousand-two. And from Ghana: 20-hundred-and-one, 20-hundred-and-two, and so on.

AA: Finally we want to read some a few stanzas from our favorite entry, a poem from Barry Durand in the Czech Republic. He writes:

RS: "Now there's a task, to put a name on something filled with nothing, a decade filled with zips and ohs, and goose eggs, and years with double nuttins

AA: "So, is the decade double oh. Or zippidy zip. Or opps. Uh oh. Let's just be glad y1. 9k's been put to bed, and let's forget the nonsense I've just said."

RS: Thank you so much, Barry Durand. And thanks again to all who entered. We always love to hear from our listeners.

Write us at VOA Wordmaster, Washington DC 20547 USA or send e-mail to

AA: Our thanks to intern Albert Sieber for his help with our contest. As we start our second year of Wordmaster -- with Rosanne Skirble, I'm Avi Arditti.