Uh-oh! Listeners try to name a naughty decade

    A couple of weeks ago, Chris Satullo’s Center Square audio column proposed a possible nickname for the decade that’s about to end, and asked all of you to send in your nominees.
    Today, he reports on the names that listeners proposed.

    Listen: [audio: satullo20091206.mp3]

    The public has spoken. In a pretty clear voice. I may not agree with its verdict. In fact, I don’t. I am, however, just a humble scribe. I report, you decide.

    Two weeks ago, I mentioned that a major milestone was sneaking up on us. Dec. 31 will mark the end of new century’s first decade.

    So it’s time to get cracking on choosing the nickname that this set of 10 stressful years will carry into the history books, as it finds a place alongside, say, the Roaring Twenties or the Me Decade.

    ?The years running from 00 to 09 are technically known as the Aughts. So I suggested we might dub them the Fraughts, since they have been fraught with anxiety, fraught with conflict, fraught with disorienting change.

    Then I invited your suggestions. And they rolled in.

    I’m happy to report that a couple of kind souls actually liked the Fraughts.

    Most of you, however, thought it a bit too – how to put this – recherché. Too academic.

    One possible moniker for the decade earned clear majority support: It was this: the Naughty Aughties. Not coincidentally, this idea had been proposed in the New York Times the week before.

    Well, OK. I get it. I just don’t like it. To use naughty as the summary adjective for a decade so full of trauma, war and economic turmoil, well, it sounds like someone’s been watching too much tabloid TV.

    Other suggestions did tickle my fancy though. A listener named Lee Pellegrino proposed the Oh-Nos. In the same vein, listeners Deidre and Blaise both offered up this idea: the Uh-Ohs.

    Say it with the intonation your five-year-old might employ shortly after dropping a spoon down into the garbage disposer. Uh-ohhhhh. Or as that great American, Scooby Doo, might put it: R-uh-R-ohhhh.

    One listener suggested the Ooze, because it will take us another decade to clean up the toxic mess these years will leave behind. Just ask Barack Obama.

    And every party has its grinch. Samuel Marini objected to the whole notion that now is the moment to name the decade. His position: The decade doesn’t really end until the last day of 2010.

    Oh, well, Sam, you lost that argument back the time of Y2K… time to get over it, don’t you think?

    Looking forward to what the new decade might bring, I’m Chris Satullo.

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