Then Linux should just be numbered like Chrome, newer Firefox releases, systemd, udev, etc.: a single version number component, incremented for each release. Yes, in a few years we'd be at Linux 157 or whatever, but that doesn't matter; it would just mean it's the release after 156 and before 157.
In all honesty, "users" don't give a shit about the version number, especially not for a low-level component like the kernel. They care more about the version numbers of the system as a whole (Ubuntu, Fedora, Android, whatever), and even then they only really care about "is this recent or not, and can I Google this number to get an idea of what features it has or is missing."