When I'm using 2.0 as an adjective, does it sound smoother to place it before the noun or after?

Context: I'm talking about a magic trick involving an iPad. As it involves new technology, this magic trick could be described as "technological" or "next-generation", something like that. Can I say it is a "2.0 magic trick"? And should I place 2.0 before or after the noun?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Edwin Ashworth, Drew, tchrist Mar 5 '17 at 14:43

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  • A little more context, please, and tell us why what you have considered as choices works or not. Do you know which is the standard format? – Yosef Baskin Mar 3 '17 at 16:01
  • No, I do not know which is the standard format. The original context was (I put technology as an example so it's not confusing) "a 2.0 magic trick" vs "a magic trick 2.0", as a magic trick involving an iPad. What do you think? 2.0 before the word sounds better in my head. – francoiskroll Mar 3 '17 at 16:09
  • Sorry, I am missing why the magic trick is 2.0. A marked new version of the trick--Trick XYX 2.0? Or a trick that relates to such marked versions--a 2.0 kind of trick? – Yosef Baskin Mar 3 '17 at 16:25
  • I think what I mean is your second example. I mean it simply in the sense "a technological magic trick" or "next-generation magic trick". Do you see what I mean? Maybe I'm just wrong from start and 2.0 cannot really be used in this context... – francoiskroll Mar 3 '17 at 16:53
  • @choster Add some citations, and you have a well rounded answer. – jejorda2 Mar 3 '17 at 18:25

I've always heard the noun followed by the number, normally denoting an upgrade to software but in modern times, any kind of upgrade (see https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/2.0#Etymology, the Wiktionary article for the development of 2.0 in modern English or google it to see their etymology).

Since I was trained to say "[noun] 2.0", I was shocked that Google NGrams showed a rapid increase in the terms "2.0 Web", "3.0 Web", and "4.0 Web", over "Web 2.0", "Web 3.0", and "Web 4.0" recently, respectively. See below:




This doesn't necessarily mean anything. Though "2.0" as a modifier meaning "the second version" came from "Web 2.0" (which apparently is now more often said 2.0 Web, at least in literature), there is also HTML 2.0, and nobody says "2.0 HTML" (https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=2.0+HTML%2C+HTML+2.0&year_start=1940&year_end=2000&corpus=15&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2C2.0%20HTML%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2CHTML%202.0%3B%2Cc0). So while my previous examples showed that "2.0 [noun]" is more common, this disproves that. Now we can look back to the Wiktionary entry which stated that "2.0" was "usually used as an attributive modifier after the noun modified", corroborating the second theory.

Again, see here: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/2.0.

By contrasting NGrams and Wiktionary as well as popular culture I've experienced, it feels that "[noun] 2.0" is generally more accepted, but both are acceptable.


Definitely after the noun. The use of this is derived from software, where version numbers have always been placed after the name of the software (e.g. Windows 3.1).

The term Web 2.0 seems to be the first usage of this term, outside the context of software versions.

  • If it's a new kind of magic, and not just a new trick, Magic 2.0 Trick sounds right. – Davo Mar 3 '17 at 21:36

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