## HUNDREDS/CENTURY |

“Eighteen hundreds,” “sixteen hundreds” and so forth are not
exactly errors; the problem is that they are used almost
exclusively by people who are nervous about saying
“nineteenth century” when, after all, the years in that
century begin with the number eighteen. This should be
simple: few people are unclear about the fact that this is
the twenty-first century even though our dates begin with
twenty. For most dates you can just add one to the third
digit from the right in a year and you’ve got the number of its century. It
took a hundred years to get to the year 100, so the next
hundred years, which are named “101,” “102,” etc. were in
the second century.

This also works BC. The four hundreds BC
are the fifth century BC. Using phrases like “eighteen
hundreds” is a signal to your readers that you are weak in
math and history alike.