21

The 1906 Federal Food and Drugs Act was one of the first laws enacted to stop the sale of inaccurately labeled drugs.

19 O six ?

  • 3
    Depends on the region, I think. "Oh" for 0 would be the US way. I would always read it "Nineteen-hundred-and-six". – muru Aug 5 '15 at 21:32
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    @muru Not just in the US. "Nineteen-hundred and six" is occasionally used in the UK but "Nineteen oh-six" is much more common. – David Richerby Aug 5 '15 at 22:12
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    For a date (as in this case) I (US native) would always, always say nineteen-oh-six, and I would find one-thousand-nine-hundred-[and-]six exceedingly odd, except for some specific artistic contexts. – Kevin Aug 6 '15 at 4:19
  • 1
    In India, I have commonly heard this being read as "nineteen nought six" and "nineteen zero six". For the current century, of course, "two thousand six" is preferred, I don't recall hearing "twenty nought six" very often. – Masked Man Aug 6 '15 at 4:35
  • 1
    These usages aren't unique to dates, either - in the US similar rules are also used for various other contexts: room numbers and address numbers, for instance, but almost never numbers-as-quantities. – Random832 Aug 7 '15 at 13:49
28

Yes, it should be read as "Nineteen-oh-six".

21

Yes, it's "nineteen oh six" in this case. But don't assume that's always true in any sort of context. For years, it's "nineteen oh six"; but in the following example:

The factory produced 1906 cars. [or 1,906 cars]

it would be pronounced "one thousand nine hundred six". This is because it is being used as an actual number of something being counted.

Basically per David Richerby's comment: It's worth noting that despite the rule above, if the last two digits are both 0 (in other words, if it's an "even hundred"), but if it's not an even thousand, people will very frequently say things like "nineteen hundred cars" or "twenty-two hundred cars". This isn't completely academically correct English per se, but it's a pretty well-accepted practice in general.

An extra thing I have been taught as an American: Despite what some people do, even in the US, you do not say "one thousand nine hundred and six", but you must leave the word "and" out. I originally stated this rule as an absolute, but there appears to be some disagreement on this point. It could be a regional thing, as indicated in this answer to the question linked by Catija.

  • 13
    There's nothing wrong with using "and" in long numbers... particularly to British English speakers. I was taught as a kid that the "and" signifies a decimal but I've had to get over that because it's simply not a widely followed rule... and is a non-existent rule for the most part. – Catija Aug 5 '15 at 21:59
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    To a British speaker, it's wrong to leave out the "and"! Also, it's common to read out numbers in the range 1100 to 1999 as, say, "nineteen hundred (and) six", rather than "one thousand, nine hundred (and) six". Indeed, I often hear Americans read out even larger numbers as so-many hundred and such-and-such ("The factory produced twenty-six hundred cars.") – David Richerby Aug 5 '15 at 22:11
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    I do both of the above as an American English speaker, although I have been heavily influenced by British authors. Something that manifests itself every time I have to spell the word 'grey' – TBridges42 Aug 5 '15 at 22:41
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    The use of more than 9 hundreds is uncommon in British English, so "1900 cars" would be read as "one thousand nine hundred cars" – mcfedr Aug 6 '15 at 9:01
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    @mcfedr, I disagree about numbers less than 2000. I commonly hear numbers up to 1999 referred to in hundreds. e.g. "It cost fifteen hundred pounds", "The theatre has a capacity of thirteen hundred people". However as I write this, it seems to be mostly for rounded numbers. "The maximum weight supported in this lift is fifteen hundred and sixty kilograms" sounds a bit wrong to me. – James Webster Aug 6 '15 at 15:38
9

Just to add to the other answer (which is correct in saying that you are correct), dates with the third number being zero, we say "nineteen-oh-six." If the third number isn't zero, we read the two halves as separate numbers. For example, "nineteen twenty six."

6

In most settings, years in English are read out like the title of Orwell's famous novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four. That is, they're read as a pair of two-digit numbers (or a one-digit number and a two-digit number if it's only a three-digit year). So, Charlemagne died in eight-fourteen, the Battle of Hastings was in ten sixty-six and the US declared independence in seventeen seventy-six.

If the year within the century begins with zero, that's pronounced as "oh", unless it's before 1000, in which case, it would be, e.g., "four hundred and six" rather than "four oh six". If the year within the century is 00, it's "eighteen hundred", "nineteen hundred" but "two thousand".

Which leads us to this millennium, which is more complicated. Most people said "two thousand and six" (British English) or "two thousand six" (American English), rather than "twenty oh-six". This year seems to be mostly "twenty-fifteen" but some people say "two thousand (and) fifteen". The Arthur C. Clarke/Stanley Kubrick novel/movie "2001: A Space Odyssey" was definitely "two thousand and one" (not "two thousand one" or "twenty oh-one") and is sufficiently well-known that essentially nobody called that year "twenty oh-one" (I don't know if Americans called it "two thousand one").

That covers general usage. In legal contexts, dates are often written out more fully, as "so many hundred and such-and-such", as in "nineteen hundred and eighty-four" or, for this millennium, "two thousand and fifteen".

  • 2
    To answer your unasked question, as an American I often hear "two-thousand one" in relation to the movie. :) – Catija Aug 5 '15 at 22:07
  • I'd long thought of it as "two thousand one" considering it to be an American movie (seconding @Catija), even though ACC is British. Personal oddity: I'd say the "two thousand six world cup', but 'the Food Safety and Standards Act, two thousand and six'. Somehow, the degree of formality of the subject decides the 'and'. – muru Aug 5 '15 at 23:06
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    @muru It was financed by MGM but shot in the UK by a producer-director who lived more than half his life in the UK, to a screenplay by a British author. So it wasn't entirely an American movie. – David Richerby Aug 6 '15 at 7:29
  • 1
    I'd say even the pre-1000 years are more often pronounced with the "oh", e.g. "the year four oh six" instead of "the year four hundred and six". The context in which the latter is appropriate would also make "the year nineteen hundred and six" more appropriate than "the year nineteen oh six". – talrnu Aug 6 '15 at 17:32
  • I'm pretty sure I've heard Americans say 2000="year two thousand", 2001="year two thousand first", then similarly "second", "third", "fourth", "fifth", but somewhere around 6 or 7 or 8 they seemed to switch to plain "seven, eight, nine, ten" instead and kept that way for further 20xx year numbers. I'm very sure I've heard "first" and "fifth", and also that I have never heard "two thousand seventh", always plain "seven". I don't know how widespread is that though. – quetzalcoatl Aug 7 '15 at 13:59

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