What's with BCE and what does it mean?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by science man, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. I seeing people even on here write BCE instead of BC. Why is that and what does the E mean?
     
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  3. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

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  6. IamJoseph Banned Banned

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    Human history is not 2000 years old.

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  7. Idle Mind What the hell, man? Valued Senior Member

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    By changing the notation from the Anno Domini notation [Before Christ (BC)/Anno Domini (AD)] to the Current Era notation, we remove religious connotations.
     
  8. Why is this all brand new? If I never read anything online (especially here) I would've never ran in to BCE. Only BC. I've never seen BCE written until this year actually.
     
  9. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    Yes, it's part of the attempt to scrub every last vestige of Christianity from our culture.
    Yet aren't the time periods defined by BCE/BC still exactly the same as the BC/AD? So we're still setting our clocks according to the birth of Christ (as estimated in the 4th century), we're just pretending we aren't. Furthermore, if we were going to design a new system, they should have stuck a year zero in there to avoid all the confusion regarding when a new century/millennium starts.
     
  10. when was this realized?
     
  11. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    There's no date in the history books for it, it was gradual. The Jews have done it this way for centuries within their own community. When the modern State of Israel was founded and its institutions began publishing scholarly papers, journals and other widely read documents, they adhered to their own standard, so the rest of the world became accustomed to seeing CE/BCE instead of AD/BC. Now that Islam (according to some observers) is on the verge of having its Renaissance and Reformation (and not a moment too soon), publications from the Islamic countries using the same conventions are finding their way to the west. There are a hundred times as many Muslims as there are Jews, so everyone had better get used to it.

    Many of us atheists picked it up because we're sick of having our culture defined by a religion. I have used it routinely for years. And I'm as inconsistent as the next American, I enthusiastically celebrate Christmas and Easter, but in entirely secular ways.

    But it is most definitely not a standard. In all the Western countries you will still see AD/BC.
     
  12. oh ok thanks.
     
  13. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    I continue to use BC, because of a) convention, and b) the fact that it pisses people off.
     
  14. glaucon tending tangentially Moderator

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    Not so brand new.
    It was standard practice when I was doing my undergrad, and that was in 1990...
     
  15. omg
     
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You will see it in academia, although not consistently. I'm sure the universities that are funded by churches still use AD/BC. But you will probably never see it in newspapers and magazines, or in business documents.
     

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