Re: CLDR Usage of Gregorian Calendar Era Terms: BC and AD -- Can we please have "CE" and "BCE" ?

From: John Hudson (
Date: Wed Dec 19 2007 - 22:26:29 CST

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    Ed Trager wrote:

    > I forgot to add that the default should be CE/BCE precisely because it
    > is religiously neutral as the article points
    > out.

    I'd rather say that it is culturally neutral, or would be if it were not applied to the
    *Gregorian* (Western, Latin, Catholic) calendar.

    I don't think anything touching on something so fundamental as how one reckons the passage
    of time can be 'religiously neutral'. Secularists consistently fail to grasp just how deep
    this stuff runs, which is why they offend religious people more often than religious
    people offend each other.

    I wonder, if the larger part of the world had adopted the hijra reckoning, would you be
    suggesting that any reference to the Prophet's journey from Mecca to Medina be -- 'in the
    very best case' -- removed from the CLDR? And how do you think Muslims would feel about
    that? Something tells me that appeals to a religious tolerance website funded by
    advertising for online psychic readings would not impress them. :)

    Perhaps the thing to do, instead of changing the era terminology of the Gregorian
    calendar, is to devise a new, truly neutral calendar. Even if it were identical in its
    date reckoning to the Gregorian calendar, it would lessen the impression of hijacking
    something in which some of us have, shall we say, a proprietary interest. So, for instance:

    Gregorian Calendar:
    BC - Before Christ
    AD - Anno Domini / Year of our Lord

    Common Calendar:
    BCE - Before Common Era
    CE - Common Era

    For a terminological problem, seek a terminological solution.

    John Hudson

    Tiro Typeworks
    Gulf Islands, BC
    At the sunset of our days on earth, at the moment of
    death, we will be evaluated on the basis of our similarity
    or otherwise with the Baby who is to be born in the poor
    grotto of Bethlehem, since it is He who is the standard
    of measurement which God has given to humanity.
                        -- Benedict XVI

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