Re: BC/AD vs BCE/CE (a rant)

Subject: Re: BC/AD vs BCE/CE (a rant)
From: Joe Miller <joemiller -at- CANBERRA -dot- COM>
Date: Fri, 24 Oct 1997 09:39:00 -0500

Michael LaTorra said:
>But for common people and common purposes, there
>is no reason at all to change usage.

This seems to me to be a very Euro-centric, or even
Christian-centric, point of view. If we are writing for
an international audience, one that encompasses
cultures which are not Christian, using BC/AD is
requiring a the reader to accept a dating scheme
based on one religion's beliefs.

Some readers may not care one way or the other, but
many, including myself (a non-Judeo-Christian) may
dislike it. I don't find the practice offensive: it's only a
minor case of cultural arrogance, but readers from
other cultures/religions, such as Muslims, may
conceivably feel pushed.

Using BC/AD is not being "politically correct", it's
simply a matter of courtesy and consideration.

How many TC's would accept a requirement to use the
Jewish, the Muslim, the Japanese, the Chinese, etc.,
dating scheme based firmly on a different religious belief?

Since the European calendar is for historical reasons,
like the English language, in common use worldwide,
using CE (during the Common Era) and BCE
(before the Common Era) are reasonable compromises.

Bottom line: Know Your Audience!

joemiller -at- canberra -dot- com

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