Sound Communication: The Holdcom Blog

Happy 2012! ...How do Voice Over Talents Say That?

Happy New Year! And what year is it? 2012, of course… but is that “twenty twelve” or “two thousand twelve”? As we transitioned from the 1990s into the 2000s, people stopped saying the first two digits together (i.e. “nineteen”) and switched to saying the whole number (e.g. “two thousand”, “two thousand five”). It made sense (no one was going to say “twenty hundred”!), but now that we’ve passed 2010, are people switching? Are we in “two thousand twelve” or “twenty twelve”?

I already had my mind made up about the matter (twenty twelve, if you're wondering), but I decided to do a little poll before presenting a definitive answer.. I asked our twitter followers what they thought and created polls on Linked In to see what others thought. Here’s what I found:

two thousand twelve or twenty twelve pie chartBy polling, I found that almost twice the number of people are saying "two thousand twelve" than are saying "twenty twelve"! I expected "two thousand" to be the winner, but I thought the margin would be smaller.

I checked with our script department and found that an overwhelming majority of our clients have decided their scripts should be read as "two thousand twelve" instead of "twenty." Why? Some say it's because we've been saying "two thousand" for over ten years now. Others say "twenty twelve" sounds very casual, while "two thousand" sounds more professional.

Others responded that “twenty twelve” is just faster, easier to say. Although the difference is only one syllable, the alliterative repetition of the “tw” sound makes it roll off the tongue a lot faster.

For your marketing strategies that involve sound, consider whether your audience is saying “twenty” or “two thousand”. You’ll want to match their colloquialisms in your Message On Hold scripts. If you don’t know, start by listening to your customers. You’ll be surprised by what you can learn!

When you employ a production company and professional voice over talent to record your on hold marketing and other programs, you’ll want to specify whether you’d like to hear “twenty” or “two thousand.” It will impact your word count, and you’ll definitely notice if the voice talent pronounces it differently.

What do you think? Which are you saying this year? Why?


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