In the twelve days before Christmas, the Beeb had some fool journalist on daily, providing programmes apparently based upon an assumption that the Twelve Days of Christmas were the twelve days leading up to Christmas.
Last Saturday's Times Newspaper had a First Leader, based upon the illiterate ... or do I mean innumerate ... assumption that we are just about to finish "the second decade of the 21st century" ("As we bid our farewells to a decade ...").
I thought the essential point at issue here had been adequately established, around the time of "the Millennium", when it was explained that the third millennium began on 1 January 2001.
This is because, when the system of years "BC" and "AD" was clamped onto the older ways of listing years ("X Yque consulibus", etc.), this was done by making "1 BC" to be followed immediately by "1 AD" , there being no such oddity as a "Year 0" in between the two of them. (A fortiori, there were not two such years as "0 BC and "0 AD.)
If you feel sceptical about this, you can check it by googling the list of Roman Consuls.
There was thus what we might call a "dot-point", the instaneous moment at which (what we now call) 1 BC tipped over straight into (what we now call) 1 AD, with nothing in between them.
And ten years from that dot-point had not elapsed until the end of the day (which we now call) 31 December AD 10.
The second decade of 'the Christian era' began on 1 January AD 11.
Try doing it on your fingers, if you still enjoy ten of them.
That is why the Third Millennium started on 1 January 2001.
And it is why the third decade of this century will not start until 1 January 2021.
Whatever the poor half-wits who write the Times Leaders may think about it.
"Paper of Record", indeed!!!!! Somebody should check how many fingers they each have and give them an Office Abacus and a set of dunces' hats.
(This all has nothing to do with when Christ was 'actually' born, and I shall not publish comments which go in pursuit of that red herring.)