In 1901 they said nineteen-oh-one
In 1910 they said nineteen-ten
Nineteen-Hundred and One-Thousand-Nine-Hundred were both hard to say, so it was obvious what to do from 1910 to 1999. People saved 2 to 4 syllables by just saying Nineteen-xx instead.
Two-Thousand-One was easy to say. Twenty-Oh-One sounded stupid, so people kept saying Two-Thousand-xx until today.
Now for the problem. Many people will try to convince others that saving one syllable, by saying Twenty-Ten instead of Two-Thousand-Ten is worth changing the “normal” way people have said the year in English for the past 9 years.
Don’t trust these numeric heathens. They will try to mask their attempts to set us back 10 years (and so on!) under the guise of nostalgia saying “Wasn’t it cool when we said one number in the 10’s and another number in the 10’s?”
Two-Thousand is a brand! It sounds rich, has great syllables, and feels big like a milestone in human history should be. I’m honoured to be spending the rest of my days in this century. Please keep this century excellent by continuing to call it Two-Thousand-xx. Will people really cheapen their era for the sake of one syllable?