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Reference to BCE

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Chris2mates  Male  Lancashire 7-Dec-2018 09:55 Message #4730375
Seems there has been a change in calendar references which I've only just seen.

Apparently, the BBC decreed that calendar references to BC and AD should now be Before the Common Era or BCE?

Did you know this?

I, for one, will reject the references. Total nonsense! I feel particularly aggrieved that the proposal came out of the BBC and as a result, much as I appreciate their work, would happily support its abolition.
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Chris2mates  Male  Lancashire 7-Dec-2018 09:58 Message #4730376
wonderoushen  Female  Gwynedd 7-Dec-2018 10:07 Message #4730379
Its been around for years, its not new and certainly nothing to do with the BBC, they may have adopted it as a convention, but they're not the first and won't be the last.
warmundeft  Male  Wrexham 7-Dec-2018 10:29 Message #4730381
Nothing to get upset about Chris.
The BBC is merely disseminating information about an appellation to our calendar that has been in use for quite some time now, particularly by those with an interest in history and having the desire to present information in a way thought most likely to avoid ambiguity. No trivial goal.

Oh ! 'Hen has beat me to it - and far more succinctly than my offering.
OnlineMSE  Male  Essex 7-Dec-2018 11:59 Message #4730388
Calm down Chris, it's not Auntie that's done it.
England and Wales introduced the BCE/CE notation system into the official school curriculum back in 2002.

But is it any different to the Beeb using e.g. metric for measurements or weights, given that many are more familiar with imperial.
There is no official EU Directive that means that the UK had to drop the use of imperial weights and measures as long as metric was also stated, but it has over time for uniformity.
The only exception is the use of accepted sizes of comparing measurements to London Buses, Olympic size swimming pools, or football pitches. Which of course everyone will know !!!

Things have often got updated to a common universal measurement. Like the more general use now of Celcius (and before that centigrade) for temperatures instead of Farenheit (although when it gets as hot as it was last summer the headliners prefer to revert back to old money as the bigger numbers look far more impressive).

Another example is, although GMT is a time zone it was also used as a time standard.
But now UTC or Coordinated Universal Time is the time standard (rather than time zone) that is used as the basis for civil time and time zones worldwide. This means that no country or territory officially uses UTC as a local time.
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 7-Dec-2018 18:00 Message #4730404
At primary school we were wrongly told that "AD" meant "after death" (of Jesus).

I've known about CE and BCE for years, but most people don't know it, so I still use AD and BC. Also I think that "Common Era" is a very poor replacement wording for "AD", and "Before Common Era" repeating 2 out of the 3 words or letters is cumbersome as well as being a poor replacement for "BC".

If many people dislike "Anno Domini" meaning "in the year of our lord", because they dislike calling Jesus "our lord", then AD could be called something like "After nativity" or "AN", and "BC" could be called "Before nativity" or "BN". (Most of the world understands English, so we shouldn't translate it into Latin.)

Unlike for Islam or in North Korea, we probably aren't going to change the base date by much. (Such as to my date of birth!) But we could change it a little: While changing the labels, perhaps for consistency we should also change Jesus's birthday to January 1st - (this would also save ink on Christmas & New Year cards). Also we should start from year zero instead of year 1.

While we're at it, there are good reasons why we should change the convention for midnight and midday to be 0am and 0pm instead of 12am and 12pm.
Minnie-the-Minx  Female  Hertfordshire 7-Dec-2018 18:52 Message #4730406
What wh says.
Lady  Female  North Yorkshire 8-Dec-2018 17:30 Message #4730439
I've noticed that BCE has been used regularly in academic text for decades now - I think its use goes back a lot longer.
Considering its purpose as a standard year numbering system, I think CE / BCE is a more accurate description than BC / AD is.
When the calendar system was first used, maybe AD 1 was thought to be "the year of our Lord" when Jesus was born but it is now widely believed that Jesus was born some years earlier, so it seems rather contradictory to say Jesus was born between 6BC and 4BC, in the era "Before Christ"

I've read religious academic texts which use the BCE convention of dating too.
Jeff  Male  East Sussex 8-Dec-2018 18:06 Message #4730443
"it seems rather contradictory to say Jesus was born between 6BC and 4BC"

There is a self-contradiction in the bible that Jesus was born:-
(a) During a census (Luke 2:1-2) - but historically that was in 6AD; and
(b) When Herod the Great was still alive - but historically he died in 4BC or 5BC.

The evidence is thoroughly examined in

I would prefer a calendar to be based on a generally agreed known date. But I don't mind settling for the nativity date ("BN" and "AN", I should get royalties if it gets used!), if most people can agree on it (even if it is fictional).

Another objection that I have to "CE" and "BCE" is that if we are in the "common era", then it should be "ICE" and "BCE".
Nigel_In_Devon  Male  Devon 9-Dec-2018 07:00 Message #4730481
Must admit I haven't noticed the move towards BCE. I'll just continue with BC and AD. If anyone objects that's their issue, not mine. Besides I'll just blame my age ;-)
tumbleweed  Male  Gloucestershire 9-Dec-2018 09:53 Message #4730489
I always thought that BC stood for 'Before Crisps', and AD stood for 'After Dominos'

But it would get too confusing, as 'Before Crisps' could refer to before they were invented, or just before nibbles at a party. And 'After Dominos' could refer to after the Pizza place was invented, or it could just be after your game of dominos in the pub, so I think think they changed it to be less confusing.
AndyMacG  Male  the West Midlands 9-Dec-2018 10:08 Message #4730491
Well, for all the historical programs i have been watching recently all still seem to relate to the old usual BC & AD so i can’t really see any point in changing things and doubt very much many folk will take much notice and still continue with what they know best.

Andy Mac
RAACH84  Female  Buckinghamshire 10-Dec-2018 07:27 Message #4730541
My girls aged 12 and 15 are both still at school and say they have heard of the modern BCE but everyone at school uses BC and AD.
HotOrWot  Male  Lancashire 13-Dec-2018 23:09 Message #4730796
Changing words has become a national pastime. Mostly due to a false sense of political correctness.

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