Dear Annie: I am a seventh-grade girl. There's this guy I like "" and I know he likes me, too.

The problem is, we're both too shy to ask the other out. But I'm scared that if I don't do anything, nothing will ever happen.

If I ask him out, will I sound desperate? "" Just Wondering

Dear Just Wondering: No, but you might want to hedge your bets. You don't need to be dating exclusively in seventh grade.

Instead of asking him out, perhaps you and some friends could organize a group outing and you could invite him to join you. That will take the pressure off.

Dear Annie: I'd like to respond to "Confused in Phoenix," who asked what to call the past decade.

In Hawaiian, the word "puka" means a small hole or void.

During World War II, Gen. Mark Clark led the men of the 100th Army Battalion, made up mostly of Pacific natives, including Sen. Daniel Inouye, a member of the "Go for Broke" 442nd company.

The 100th Battalion soon became known as the "One Puka Puka" Battalion.

Today, we have puka shell necklaces and puka dogs, so it seems only natural for us to have the puka decade, puka kids and the puka generation.

It may be regional, but it does warm the heart, and I would rather call my grandkids little puka kids than zeroes, aughties or Oh's. "" Puka Grandparent

Dear Grandparent: Very cute "" as long as they pronounce it right (or maybe not). Our readers seemed to enjoy weighing in on this topic. Read on for more:

From Tallahassee: It is obvious to many in the U.S. that the truest name for the past decade is "The Oughts," for we didn't do the things we ought to have done and did plenty of things we ought not to have done.

Northern Calif.: I've heard people call the years since 2000 "the early 2000s."

However, considering that this decade has given us the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, outbreaks of swine and avian flu, Hurricane Katrina, the Great Recession, sexting and a gaggle of ridiculous shorthand and combo words (BFF, LOL, frenemy, ginormous), a more accurate name would be "The Oh No's." In addition, it will solve the problem of naming the next decade by giving us "The Oh No Not Agains."

Oxnard, Calif.: Why do people insist that the decade has ended? It will end in December 2010. Can't people do the math? There is no year zero.

Our calendar starts on year one. The new millennium started Jan. 1, 2001, not 2000.

The decade will end on Dec. 31, 2010.

Don't rush it.

Chicago: For years, I've tried to get people to call the decade the "Double Oh's." It only happens once in a 1,000 years.

But when I think back on how bad it got in Double-Oh Eight, I wonder whether "Zilches" might be better.

Grand Island, Neb.: For the previous century, we used "Nineteen hundred" whatever. The most logical way now would be to say "Twenty whatever."

So this year would be "Twenty Ten," next year would be "Twenty Eleven" and so forth. Since for the first 10 years people should have been saying "Twenty Oh One," "Twenty Oh Two," etc., I think the past decade should be called "The Twenty-Oh's."

Boston: The 1970s were named the "Me" decade. The 2000s could be the "My" decade, since it brought the launch of social networking sites like MySpace.

An alternative name could be the "I" decade, because the iPod, the iPad, the iPhone and iTunes all emerged.

Florida: I think the perfect name should be the "Uh-oh's" because of all the messes that began in this decade.

Write Annie's Mailbox at P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611, or anniesmailboxcomcast.net.

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