Turn of the century

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1900 sheet music cover reflecting the era's optimism about a better future through technological progress.

Turn of the century, in its broadest sense, refers to the transition from one century to another. The term is most often used to indicate a distinctive time period either before or after the beginning of a century or both before and after.

Where no specific century is stated, the term usually refers to the most recent transition of centuries.

According to the Chicago Manual of Style, there is no common agreement as to the meaning of the phrase "turn of the n-th century." For instance, if a statement describes an event as taking place "at the turn of the 18th century," it could refer to a period around the year 1700 or around 1800, that is, the beginning or end of that century. As such, they recommend using only "turn of the century," and only in a context that makes clear which transition is meant.[1]

The period around the turn of the 1st century of a millennium can also be called the "turn of the millennium." For example, the period 1981–2020 can be described both as the "turn of the 21st century" and the "turn of the 3rd millennium."

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Chicago Style Q&A: Numbers". The Chicago Manual of Style Online. Retrieved 2011-01-11.