Talk:Common Era

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RfC: differentiate CE from the system it designates[edit]

Resolved. Jc3s5h (talk) 18:38, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

How can the first sentence, "Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is a designation for the calendar system most commonly used world-wide [citation needed] for numbering the year part of the date" be reworded so that editors will understand that it does not claim the phrase "Common Era" is the most commonly used designation for the year numbering system, only that the year numbering system itself is the most commonly used worldwide (or is it)? Jc3s5h (talk) 00:42, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

  • use two sentences: "Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is a term used to designate a baseline year for calendrical years, one based on the Gregorian calendar but without using explicitly Christian terminology. The Gregorian calendar system and its derivatives are the most commonly used international numbering system for years[citation needed]; regional and ethnic populations may use different numbering systems." --Ludwigs2 08:40, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

How about "Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is one name used for the most widespread calendrical year numbering scheme. Other names for the same year numbering scheme include Christian Era, also abbreviated as CE, and Anno Domini, abbreviated as AD". Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 17:58, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Dailycare's suggestion conflicts with, and is redundant with, the coverage of abbreviations later in the article. How about "Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is one name used for the most widespread calendrical year numbering scheme. [citations] There are many names in many languages for the same year numbering scheme." --Jc3s5h (talk) 19:05, 1 January 2010 (UTC)
I'm OK with that. Cheers, --Dailycare (talk) 00:10, 2 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Comment: issue seems to have been resolved, so you may want to remove the RfC. Labongo (talk) 08:18, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Opinion: I still dont see the point in changing dates, it only ensures confusion. Secondly, the only place CE / BCE is in use, is North America, and most aren't using BCE/CE. Which then comes down to stop pushing your ego's on the rest agruement. Argue for the sake of? On the other side, AD/BC are easier to remember, it's also precedence, and over 60% of the world have a cultural link to it. Note that in some countries it's law, didn't believe it myself at first. But, legal documents are AD, As are acts of parliment. Doesn't US government say a prayer at the start? And finishes with "in this the **** year of our lord"? De mensuris et ponderibus "Et quod habeant per universum regnum, mensuras fidelissimas et signatas, et pondera fidelissima et signata, sicut boni praedecessores statuerunt." "We ordain and command that the weights and measures throughout the realm be as our worthy predecessors have established."

Hasn't changed in almost 1,000 Years. Foundation document of modern democracy, is AD as well. Magna Carta AD 1215. So in atleast 20 countries that i can find, AD/BC is law. (AD/BC) <- Alphabetial. By legal precedent, I suspect a good many of the worlds' nations are AD/BC.

I liken this discussion to the date format, 2 countries use Month/day/Year. 60% of the world use Day Month Year. The first is speech pattern, the second logical.

Now the entire reason i bothered to post, this article reads like an advertising campiagn. As if the small minority are trying to justify the change. How about we just stick to converntion, and recognise the historical precedence, and do this page as an opposing point of view as it should be? I also note that this gives some weight to jewish sensibilities. As an argument of change. It may come as a surprise to find some jews use "in the year of our lord". You may find if anyone looked, that only orthodox jews tend to disagree. Lots of christian jews use AD/BC.

Further on the above, AD/BC is in use with over half the worlds governments. It's hardly exclusive to christians. Some muslism nations use it as well. Thailand uses Buddhist Era Date. Therefore ~563 years more than AD. Tiawan has ROC era date. Japan, Japanese Era. I also note that elsewhere someone claims china using a BCE/CE style. That is easily checked, and proven wrong. China uses the old era system from imperial china. Hence, the year of the water dragon has just started.

BCE/CE has no legal protection, or precedence, in any country. Perhaps as jimbo says, conform to the norm? Not the minority?


F. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 5 February 2012 (UTC)

The intro has evolved into mass confusion[edit]

Does anyone else agree that the introductory paragraphs for Common Era are insanely confusing as they stand now? I'm familiar with Common Era myself, yet it's still confusing to even me. Imagine the average reader who has no idea what it means? I may start writing simpler revisions at User:CrazyInSane/Common Era, but I'd like to get some feedback here first. Thoughts?. — CIS (talk | stalk) 02:20, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

that is pretty horrible. I'd just go ahead and edit it straight out. I'd do it myself right now, but I don't want to get in your way if you've already got something in mind. --Ludwigs2 02:39, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
When you are finished, you will be accused of being a bigoted Christian crusader and/or compared to the infamous Roman emperor Diocletian, who was such a horrible persecutor of Christians he inspired Dionysius Exiguus to invent Anno Domini even after Diocletian was dead for a few centuries. --Jc3s5h (talk) 03:20, 13 January 2010 (UTC)
well, the way I figure it, if I dropped all the things I've been accused of in my life into one big pot and gave it a stir, I'd end up with something akin to chicken soup. I'm happy to represent the left-wing conservative atheo-Christio-pagan new-agey white male feminist intellectual elitist conspiracy for the preservation of common sense. care to join? we have t-shirts. --Ludwigs2 04:01, 13 January 2010 (UTC)

Alright, well... no response, so I'll edit in revisions. --Ludwigs2 23:10, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

If you want to keep the lead short, you'll probably want to avoid disputed statements. But about the only undisputed thing you can say about it is that it uses the same year numbers as AD/BC. --Jc3s5h (talk) 23:18, 17 January 2010 (UTC)
eh, I'll make a bold edit and let people dispute it if they choose. nothing quite as good for getting a discussion rolling as making edits people hate. Face-smile.svg --Ludwigs2 23:43, 17 January 2010 (UTC)

The remarks above had already been addressed by a modification of the lede. Too much has been omitted now--JimWae (talk) 00:52, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

@Ludwigs: I've just checked out your modifications and they look great. I'll help out with some copyediting and stuff, but the intro looks so much more succinct and to the point now. Thank you for your help in improving the lead. — CIS (talk | stalk) 00:58, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I think the quantity of text is about right, and the necessary points are mentioned, but I think some things are slightly wrong or roundabout.
  • By using the phrase "Jesus Christ", Wikipedia takes the position that Jesus really was and is the Messiah, because that's what Christ means. "Christ" should be dropped.
  • The lead strongly implies that AD and CE are only used with the Gregorian calendar, and that the Gregorian calendar only uses CE or AD. This is corrected later in the article, but it is a contradiction.
  • Lead suggests CE is used in non-English commercial, legal, and scholarly documents (CL&S docs for short).
  • "more common" suggests CE is more common than AD in CL&S docs; this is not established.
  • The idea that this is the most commonly used year numbering scheme is divided in two parts and two places in the article; the lead tells us the numbering scheme is used by the Gregorian calendar, and later we are told the Gregorian calendar is the most common calendar.
  • States that 1 AD is the year Jesus was ostensibly born. This is wrong on two counts; we don't know if Dionysius had the conception or birth in mind as the Incarnation, which is the epoch. Also, we don't know if Dionysius placed the Incarnation in 2 BC, 1 BC, or AD 1.
  • The lead seems to have been written with no clear distinction in mind of the concept of a common era, versus the English language phrase "Common Era". --Jc3s5h (talk) 01:29, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Jc3s5h: I can see that some of your concerns have been addressed by copyediting, and I don't have much in the way of objections to your other points. If you help clarify your points for me, I'll happily fix them
  • the Christ issue has been fixed. good.
  • I specified that that there are regional uses different from AD/CE in common language, though I suppose we can make that more pronounced in the lead. however, I was under the impressions that AD and CE only were used with the gregorian calendar system. is there another system those abbreviations apply to?
  • didn't mean to mislead with more. removing that now. this entire CL&S thing is a bit of temporizing on my part - I really wanted to say that CE notation wasn't common in normal usage but was useful where people wanted to keep the standard but remove the religious overtones. that line can be changed or deleted at your discretion.
  • yes, that division was intentional; it's two separate ideas. The important point (from the CE perspective) is that it is an alternate form of the gregorian calendar. the fact that the GC is widely used is less relevant on this page and so gets lesser billing. readers will go to the GC page to get full details about it's importance.
  • looks like this 1AD issue has been fixed as well. is there anything else that needs?
  • that may be because I myself am not clear on the distinction between "common era" and "Common Era". Face-smile.svg can you clarify?
I'm also going to re-add the comment about secularity as a reason in the second paragraph, since I think that's important to the concept. but I'm willing to be convinced otherwise. --Ludwigs2 06:05, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • About " I was under the impressions that AD and CE only were used with the gregorian calendar system." First came the Julian calendar. Of course, AD hadn't been invented yet, so several year numbering/naming systems were used, until AD came to predominate around 1300 or so. Then the Gregorian Calendar was invented in 1583. It is mostly used with the AD system, but some Asian countries combine the Gregorian months and days with their own year numbering (for example, for some purposes, this year in Japan is 2670). We even do it in the USA for ceremonial purposes, see my signature.
    • yes. but currently, AD and CE only refer to the Gregorian calendar. personally, I think we should pick an arbitrary date in the neolithic revolution (9,752 years ago, say) and use that as the benchmark, but few people listen to me. Face-smile.svg I'll see what I can do to bring out the regional variations a bit more.
  • About "yes, that division was intentional; it's two separate ideas." One advantage to mentioning that the Gregorian Calendar is the most widespread is to reassure readers that we really are talking about the year numbering system that they are all familiar with. Not too many people know when the Peloponnesian War was, and if you have ever watched Jay Leno's streetwalking sketches, you might share my concern about how many people know when World War II was.
    • ok, I see that point.
  • As for the distinction between "common era" and "Common Era". The English phrase "Common Era" or it's abbreviation are probably a good deal less popular than "Anno Domini" and "AD". But many countries have their own phrases that might be translated into English as "common era". If you add up all those usages in all those countries, they might outweigh all the versions of "Anno Domini", "Christian Era", and equivalent non-English phrases and abbreviations. Jc3s5h (talk) 07:02 UT, January 18, the 233rd year of Independence of the United States
    • hmmm... I wasn't really thinking about popularity, just about historical provenance. let me see what I can do with that. --Ludwigs2 07:33, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

"Thus, the Peloponnesian War began in 431 BCE and ended in 404 BCE, while World War II began in 1939 CE and ended in 1945 CE." conveys NO information (neither about Common Era nor CE) to readers who do not know the years of those events in any other notational system-- nor does it allow that the era notation is rarely used for years in the last few centuries--JimWae (talk) 21:09, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

It has been a day since tags were added to current version of the lede (with no response), and almost 2 days since anyone has defended that version on this talk page. Additionally, it appears that the current version does not abide by MOS:BEGIN. I see no reason not to revert to the version of Jan 17 --JimWae (talk) 00:01, 20 January 2010 (UTC)

2 days is not a lot of time, particularly not when you are considering a bulk revert. if your only concern is the Peloponnesian war thing, we can talk about that (I just threw it in as an example). if you have more substantive concerns, list them out and we will discuss those as well. however, I really want to insist that you try to work with this version - reverting large changes is no way to develop a stable page. --Ludwigs2 08:39, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

It was 3 days & now it is 7 days -- plenty of time. There was no consensus for your changes in the first place. There were numerous comments on the talk page (see below) to return to earlier version AND no opposition to doing so. The lede needs to be returned to what it was - about Common Era, not what its abbreviation is a substitute for--JimWae (talk) 08:54, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Definitely, it should start with 'Common Era' before mentioning the abbreviation per our MOS. Dougweller (talk) 09:14, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
well, there were 'numerous comments' in favor of the change as well (see above). The first word issue is easily fixed; I'll do that now. what I would like to see is a short list of further complaints so that we can address them 1 by 1. what this page has now may not satisfy everyone, but it is clear, concise, and accurate, which the previous version wasn't. that's why I want to start from here to make revisions towards a better version. wholescale reverts do not help a page progress, so unless you want this dispute to go on endlessly, I'd suggest that you try to work with me here. --Ludwigs2 16:35, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
P.s. - I'll also point out, Doug, that you screwed up the list-defined footnote format I had set up when you did your revert. if you are going to do massive changes like that, it's your responsibility to make sure that you don't break the software. please fix it. --Ludwigs2 16:40, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see how my replacing cited text here [1], my first edit since September, could have done anything to what you call the software. An IP removed a couple of lines, I replaced them. Dougweller (talk) 06:14, 26 January 2010 (UTC)
It is wrong to say that astronomical year numbering, and the various functional synonyms for AD/BC can only be used before 1582 in conjunction with the Julian calendar. They certainly are appropriate for any present and future religious matters that still use the Julian calendar, as well as historical matters that took place in countries after 1582 but before the country of interested adopted the Gregorian calendar. Also astronomers still make use of various Julian-related quantities (such as a century of 36,525 days), although I don't know if they would ever write a present-day date in the Julian calendar. --Jc3s5h (talk) 18:05, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
ok, that's a complaint about a footnote that really has no need to be in the article at all (the article is about CE, that footnote just says that other systems don't have a year zero as well). I'll remove it now. --Ludwigs2 18:11, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
reverting is simpler than going through all this. There was never anything specifically said about what was wrong about the long-standing version. Some people had recently added some odd sentences to it that made it a bit confusing - and those changes were removed before your edit. Identify problems with the long-standing version first.-- (talk) 19:00, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
reverting is simpler, yes. and reverting leads to edit wars, contentious talk page arguments, and other noxious effects. several editors have agreed that this is a good place to start, so I suggest we start here and discuss the matter to resolve problems (rather than revert and cause more problems). do you have a particular problem with discussing the issues? --Ludwigs2 19:30, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Only 1 editor has said he liked your changes - and he has not been heard from in over a week. Nothing has yet been identified as a problem with the long-standing version. Several editors have already identified a number of problems with your version, not the least of which is violation of MOS:BEGIN. You have not identified any way in which your version is an improvement over the long-standing version. There is no point in fixing your version when no problem with the long-standing version has been noted --JimWae (talk) 21:06, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────(outdent) I beg to differ. the reason I made these changes was because there was a long standing set of complaints and an RfC on the topic (that's the only reason I came here). tunnel vision is not going to help you here. If you want to get back to the original version, then please give a reason why you think it's better - I say this version is more clear, more concise, and presents the information better, but I'm open to discussion on the matter. --Ludwigs2 21:31, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

The RFC was resolved 2 weeks before your revision. The one complaint in this section was about this version with an "off-track" 2nd sentence that had recently crept in --JimWae (talk) 21:57, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
Common Era is NOT an abbreviation - please revert yourself -- it is not "more clear, and more concise", and does not "present the information better". Neither common era nor AD are exclusively used with the Gregorian calendar. Please revert yourself - at least until you have can present something HERE in talk with less obvious errors and misleading ambiguities. --JimWae (talk) 22:15, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
In light of the obvious problems with the present revision.,I have reverted to what is (almost entirely) the long-standing lede. Please see WP:BRD on how we can proceed to discuss any issues--JimWae (talk) 23:10, 25 January 2010 (UTC)
you know, I really don't care enough about this mind-bogglingly trivial article to deal with a tendentious editor with no conception of proper editing practices. Jim, you are no asset to wikipedia - I'll come back after you've gotten your (seemingly inevitable) indef block. --Ludwigs2 23:21, 25 January 2010 (UTC) striking this comment. it was unwarranted. apologies for my temper, Jim. --Ludwigs2 07:01, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

:::An ironic comment as you've been blocked for incivility and disruptive editing before. Jim has a spotless record. You seem to be almost asking for a warning. Dougweller (talk) 06:14, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Glad to see that you've both stricken the last comments. Uncivil behavior does nothing to advance ideas and knowledge. Becides, admitting that one has acted irrationally and apologizing for unsavory behavior is indeed the Christian thing to do. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:40, 4 August 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Not moved based on the optinions in the discussions. Vegaswikian (talk) 07:49, 25 January 2010 (UTC)

Common EraCE (era notation) — Given the new opening sentence and the cites we've used now for a while where both Common Era and Christian Era are used almost equally, should we move the title of the article to remain neutral on the actual name of the notation?. — CIS (talk | stalk) 02:58, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

I don't work for a dictionary, so don't have the resources to figure out how often various words and phrases are used. But figuring out the relative frequency of these terms is complex. When spelled out, I would think that Anno Domini, Christian Era, and terms with similar connotations, would be use more often than Common Era (if we ignore equivalent phrases in non-English languages). I also think the abbreviation BC is more frequent than BCE, and often it would be hard to determine what expansion, if any, the author had in mind. Of course, the most frequent notation for AD and CE is nothing at all (this year is 2010). --Jc3s5h (talk) 03:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
well, my sense is that most users will be searching for CE or BCE (having seen that added to a date-year and wondering why it doesn't say AD/BC). So in that regard moving the page to CE might be the best move. I've actually never seen 'Common Era', 'Christian Era', 'Current Era', or even 'Anno Domini' used in its non-abbreviated form (except in dictionary and encyclopedic entries on the topic, or in some archaic, formal usages such as "In the Year of Our Lord nineteen twenty eight" or "the one thousand, nine hundred and twenty eighth year of the common era"); this is one of those weird cases (like the acronym Laser) where the abbreviation is better known than the actual full phrase. --Ludwigs2 07:23, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
Agree with the both of you. I'll also mention that in French, the notations are simply "avant J.-C." (before Jesus Christ) and "après J.-C." (after Jesus Christ), so aren't really abbreviations at all in the way we use them. CE/Common Era are virtually unheard of in French. I think it is best to move the article from "Common Era" to "CE", since we cannot really show that "Christian Era" is used any less than "Common Era". Also, as you both have mentioned, the abbreviation itself is much more in the public consciousness than the meaning behind it. And really, there is no meaning behind it. It is just meant as a secular replacement for AD/BC, where "BCE" looks enough like "BC" so that it's easy to get people to switch. Are we agreeing with a move to "CE (era notation)" specifically? Or would something else be better in the brackets? Maybe "CE and BCE"? Just throwing ideas out there. — CIS (talk | stalk) 14:36, 18 January 2010 (UT

I oppose this request. Whilst I agree that the CE/BCE notations are always used and that Common Era only appears to explain the abbreviation, the proposed article name is needlessly obscure. As matters stand, a search for "CE" or "BCE" will redirect here directly, and the reader is immediately informed of the meaning of the abbreviation. In my view, the request will serve to obscure rather than illuminate the article. --Red King (talk) 19:10, 18 January 2010 (UTC)

that's a good point too. the only quibble I might have with it is that the word 'Common' is contested (common, chistian, current...). that's not much of a quibble though. --Ludwigs2 19:18, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
I don't see any real issue with the word 'common' (though clearly its meaning has changed over time, as has the word 'vulgar'). I do think that the translation "Christian Era" is a backronym but it is cited so my opinion doesn't matter. I'm afraid that the lede of this article is always going to be 'difficult' because some militant Christians see it as value-laden and an affront and so want to hobble it, whereas in scientific use (modern writing in history and archaeology) it is seen as a value-free term that has widespread international use. My impression, right or wrong, is that the proposal is an underhand way to assert the militant Christian POV, by removing the term "Common Era" as the name of the article. --Red King (talk) 19:37, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose As has been pointed out, we already have redirects. None of the suggestions seem an improvement. Dougweller (talk) 19:44, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Additionally, the topic sentence is no longer about common era but about an abbreviation. Nor does it say what common era is, it says what its abbreviation is an "alternate" for. The new edits make it appear as if Common Era applies only to the Gregorian calendar & removes all mention of why common era is deemed "more secular". I propose the article be returned to its state before this edit]. There was nothing "stodgy" about:
    Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is a designation for the world's most commonly used year-numbering system.[1][2] The numbering of years using Common Era notation is identical to the numbering used with Anno Domini (BC/AD) notation, 2010 being the current year in both notations and neither using a year zero.
    which clearly states what common era is, quickly identifies its similarity to AD without giving it subordinate status to AD, does not get hung up with the Gregorian calendar, & states clearly that neither the current year nor any other year gets numbered differently. Common Era did not develop as an alternative to anything, it developed along with AD, though somewhat later. Nor are its equivalents -- in other languages which never used AD -- alternatives to AD. I do not agree the old lede was "stodgy" (certainly not the first 2 sentences), but whether stodgy or not, it was not filled with the semantic flaws & possible POV problems of recent edits.--JimWae (talk) 23:31, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
    • The old lead should be replaced, I don't think MOS:BEGIN is being interpreted correctly, the title of the article should be at the beginning of the lead, otherwise it is confusing. Dougweller (talk) 21:12, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose Abbreviations are best avoided. I think the redirects address the issue of searchers getting to the topic they want.--Labattblueboy (talk) 23:11, 18 January 2010 (UTC)
  • Oppose primarily because there's just no particular reason to do it. I'd also note however that the use of parenthesized names should be avoided as much as possible, especially where they are uncessesary. I'd support a move to CE (over the redirect) before supporting a move to CE (era notation)
    V = I * R (talk to Ohms law) 06:38, 20 January 2010 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Rewriting History in the Name of Religious Neutrality[edit]

Whether or not you care about religion, this article shows why wikipedia articles should be taken with a grain of salt. This article paints the picture that BCE/CE has always been widely used in conjunction with BC/AD, when in fact the term BCE was for all intents and purposes invented by the wikipedia community, in the name of religious neutrality.

This article is not an encyclopedia article. It does not explain the history of the usage of CE/BCE. To explain the history of CE/BCE, it should be explained that, in a contrived effort to make wikipedia religiously neutral, the wikipedia community started a movement to enforce the usage of CE/BCE.

This article is a rewrite of history, citing vague references to historical usage of the term "Common Era" in an attempt to make it seem as though BCE/CE has been used for more than a couple years.

If in five years, every book and article uses BCE instead of BC, then congratulations. But for the sake of historical accuracy, at least document the process. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:43, 4 February 2010 (UTC)

And then it can explain how it managed, before it even existed, to persuade Christian theologians write scholarly books using BCE, I guess? Dougweller (talk) 21:12, 15 September 2010 (UTC)
I agree this article is unscientific, self-serving and completely underplays the role of Wikipedia in making this absurd notation of any interest to 99.99% of English speakers. Whatever the history of the notation, used by Jews and Nazis alike for politico-religious reasons, the ONLY reason I and millions of other people will encounter this notation and now need to look it up and learn its usage is because of Wikipedia's adoption, which is the de facto standard for factual information of our age (insert pageviews stats here).
So that is what this page should mostly be about. Wikipedia's attempt to twist the English language. I'm not a Christian but this use of CE is absurd and is obviously politically/religiously motivated, striking right at the heart of Wikipedia's claims of non-bias and balanced POV, and sets you guys up as totally untrustworthy hypocrites. Sorry for the strong words - please don't take offence, it's not meant to be insulting, but simply iterating a viewpoint that seems oddly underrepresented here. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:59, 31 August 2013 (UTC)

I agree with the above comment. I'm an athiest, British and had never heard of this before reading it on wikipedia. This whole article is very bias. AD/BC is the most common. Signed Jimjams 19/10/2013 — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:10, 18 October 2013 (UTC)

I learned "BCE/CE" in school over 15 years ago.. I absolutely LOVE how Christians think they are being persecuted when they so clearly are not. Move to Egypt and then you can complain. (talk) 01:47, 7 June 2010 (UTC)

BCE/CE has been in use for at least 20 years. I recall when NOVA and other PBS specials began using the term. Personally, I think it's a bit silly, like saying "Thursday offends me because I don't worship Thor." Nonetheless, BCE/CE is much older than Wikipedia. (talk) 05:46, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
It is much older. Even though I agree with Duncan Steel on the name change (to be honest, I don't care, I use both BCE/CE and BC/AD) in that it is silly to have changed something for the reasons they did, since BC and AD really have no religious meaning anymore (IE, much like the In God We Trust motto). However, it is much older than Wikipedia, but I do agree with the OP to a point: This wiki does make is seem as though people have been using it for years (commonly used, that is), when in fact it has only gaining momentum, if I remember correctly, in the late 90s. And, the poster didn't say he was religious, and whether or not he is is beside the point. And I think we all see your Egypt comment as a personal attack. I could easily say "I absolutly LOVE how you non-religious people think everyone thinks they are being persecuted. Go back to Russia." BTW, Some people here (ahem) are from Egypt, so I think that comment was prety nasty. (talk) 04:00, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
And by (ahem) I meant "mind your manner," not that I'm from Egypt. All the same though. (talk) 04:02, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
I certainly agree that BCE/CE is ridiculous (in particular because of the difficulty of pronouncing "BCE" when reading dates), but you can't blame Wikipedia. This appearance of BCE/CE way predates Wikipedia and even the Internet.Spitzak (talk) 22:20, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
See "753 BCE" at Google Ngram Viewer.
Wavelength (talk) 22:27, 16 March 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. Shows that BCE is used quite a bit in certain contexts, in this case history. The people above who have never run into before aren't terribly well read in the fields in which it's used, and I wouldn't expect to find it used, say, in Pop Music, etc. And I can't understand anyone having a problem pronouncing it. Sorry Spitzak, but there are a lot of words in English far more difficult to pronounce, 3 letters in a row should be easy. Dougweller (talk) 17:00, 17 March 2015 (UTC)

Whatever the history of CE/BCE, it is nonsense and ridiculous. It still refers to the same event as BC/AD, so why not stay with that? Wikipedia is making a statement for reasons of political correctness, for fear of 'offending' non-Christians. I will not donate to Wikipedia until it abandons this kind of thing. In any case, why should Wikipedia try to be that religiously-neutral? No-one is forcing Moslems to read it. It is the product of the traditions of a Christian country. Try compiling something of this nature in Iran, China, North Korea or Indonesia, for example. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

While I personally don't care whether BCE/CE or BC/AD is used, I would like to point out though that Wikipedia isn't supposed to be biased towards a particular group, meaning BC could be viewed as biased towards Christianity, using BCE/CE would be not be pandering to atheists but instead pandering less to Christianity(Of course you could argue that going out of your way to change it is biased towards all the others, but I believe that is much less biased compared to having it). Also your point about Wikipedia being built on a "Christian Country" doesn't apply as there is no american Wikipedia(and also america is secular not Christian), Wikipedia was built by the community which upholds the values of WP:NPOV -glove-(alt, public) (talk) (main account's talk) 22:07, 12 December 2016 (UTC)


As I understand the article claims that there is no "year zero". Thus from a given date of year -1 until the same point in time year 1 only a year (about 365 days) has passed. It also implies that a person's age at death can't be calculated in the same manner as for all other people, if he/she was born BC and died AD (using the Christian abbrevations). Thus normal maths no longer works. Somehow this should be highlighted in the article, or a reference should be made to another page where this fact is discussed in detail. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Smallchanges (talkcontribs) 23:08, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

One calendar year would pass from, for example, 1 March 1 BC until 1 March AD 1. However, astronomical year numbering is different. Two calendar years pass from 1 March -1 until 1 March 1. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:59, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

Era Vulgaris[edit]

Era Vulgaris translates as "vulgar lady" or "common lady", I think the posted reference was having it on. --Xero (talk) 20:00, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

It is probably medieval latin. 'Era' or 'aera' is as we understand it today, an epoch. 'Vulgar' has changed its meaning in modern english - it used to mean 'of the common people'. Indeed the word 'common' is already changing its meaning, being often associated with 'inferior'. See Wiktionary:vulgar. --Red King (talk) 20:11, 18 March 2010 (UTC)

POV Dispute[edit]

I suggest that the notation be changed so as to accept the common defination of an era. An era is a time frame common to geology and subordinate to the eon of which there are three -- the Archean, the Proterozic, and the Phanerozic -- the present eon. Eras have names like Paleozoic, Mesozic, and Cenozic -- the present era. Within the Cenozic era two periods exist called the Tertiary and Quaternary -- the present period. Within Quaternary period two epochs are named -- the Pleistocene and the present Epoch -- the Holocene. So when we speak or write of time we should be consistant. Since the term 'era' is long established I hereby argue that it is inapropiate to use the same term for different consecpts within the same subject -- time. Another term in common but unformalized usage is the 'age' as in 'ice age.' I am not aware of how ages are defined; but it is logical that we need a more refined defination. I suggest we let the geologist name and refine them for the Holocene such that that approximate 10,000 years are logically divided and the last of such divisions be used to establish a numbering system for the centuries and years. All they would have too do is to pin down some event that could mark the moment of the beginning of the Halocene and start numbering and naming-- (talk) 04:11, 25 October 2010 (UTC).

This article claims the following: "Common Era, abbreviated as CE, is a designation for the world's most commonly used year-numbering system." However, the references given do not state that fact. In fact, both seem to address the Gregorian calendar, and not the date style use of BCE/CE vs BC/AD. Most articles I have read indicate that while many scholars seem to prefer BCE/CE the general public prefers BC/AD. Bottom line, this statement and the references given do not match. Unless there is a reference backing up this statement, I believe the statement should be removed. ( (talk) 15:10, 13 April 2010 (UTC))

There is a system for numbering years which numbers years from the incarnation of Jesus, as calculated by Dionysius Exiguus. This system is the world's most commonly used year numbering system. That is the claim. The citations back up the claim.
There is no claim that either AD or CE are the most popular designations for that system. If I were to guess, I would guess the most common designation is probably a Chinese phrase.
So please clarify what you think is not sufficiently backed up by citations, that the year numbering system is the most popular, or the non-existent claim that AD or CE is the most popular designation. Jc3s5h (talk) 00:59, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
When I read the article, it seems to me that the claim is about the BCE/CE date style, since that is what the article is about. If there are no objections, I will clarify that the statement is about the Gregorian calendar. ( (talk) 15:10, 13 April 2010 (UTC))
I strongly suggest you post your suggested change here on the talk page for discussion. Some people come to this article as combatants in the CE vs. AD fight, and interpret every word as part of that fight. But other people come here not knowing what CE means, and the article attempts to answer that question right off by explaining that CE designates the most popular year-numbering system in the world. There have been many discussions about the wording of the lead of this article, and it is probable that someone will object to whatever change you have in mind. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:22, 13 April 2010 (UTC)
I am fine with the current wording as you left in the words that I added "one of the designations." Later in the article it explains the other date style. We all have an opinion on the date style topic, and I am no exception. This, in my opinion, takes away the debate because no matter which style someone uses, this article now seems to be written in a neutral way. That was my goal...thanks! ( (talk) 16:33, 13 April 2010 (UTC))

Revisiting "Common era" in Chinese usage[edit]

"... I would guess the most common designation is probably a Chinese phrase." Yup, the Chinese use "Common Era," as the article points out. Sunray (talk) 06:04, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

I seriously doubt that most Chinese people speak and write English most of the time. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:38, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
LOL. I was going to use the Chinese term (公元)", but didn't think you would understand. It translates as (drum roll please)... "Common Era." Sunray (talk) 16:51, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
According to this it actually translates to "AD". Do we have any citations indicating that it translates to "Common era"? — CIS (talk | stalk) 17:09, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
So much for Google Translator. This was discussed extensively on this page. Chinese speakers assure us that it means "Common Era." The PRC adopted "Common Era" in 1949. References confirm this: [2], [3]
I'm not sure we need citations in the article (which has contained that phrase for about 5 years). We don't have citations for "the sky is blue" or "oranges are a citrus fruit," after all. Comments? Sunray (talk) 18:09, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Not one of those links you provided indicates that "公元" itself translates to "Common era" (the second link is a mirror of Wikipedia's Anno Domini article), while the Google source gives a direct translation to AD. You said this has already been discussed extensively on this page... where? And your comment comparing this matter to "the sky is blue" makes no sense, there are plenty of citations and evidences to confirm that; there are none for "公元=CE". I am restoring the citation needed template and it should stay until this is resolved. — CIS (talk | stalk) 18:26, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
You are right about the second link being a mirror. Careless of me. I've removed it. I also removed two others which only show usage. I've added another that can be used as a citation.

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I think that you should read the archives. I recall that this was discussed several years ago and editors from WikiProject China confirmed the Chinese. I do not think that we need to verify the translation further. Google Translator is notoriously weak. If you doubt this take any non-English language you are familiar with and translate a paragraph into English. It will be riddled with errors. Since you are insisting on the "citation needed" tag, I will add the two citations. But I do so under protest. We do not need to source every sentence in Wikipedia. Sunray (talk) 18:49, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

See these:

"Common Unit" is probably the closest to a "literal" translation. Literal translations do not resemble "year" or "anno" or "Lord' or "Domini".--JimWae (talk) 18:51, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Isn't the article's wording "In Asia, the Chinese use the term "Common Era (公元)". a bit misleading? Here, "Common Era" wikilinks to a section of another article that mentions nothing about the Chinese using "Common era" itself over "Anno Domini", and is lacking in any sources. According to one of the links you added above, Jim, (this one in particular), 公元 can be interpreted/translated as either CE or AD, and there's no clear indication that the Chinese intended to specifically use CE rather than AD. Shouldn't we reword this to something like "In Asia, the Chinese use gōngyuán (公元), which translates to "common unit", as with the Korean and Japanese explanations? There's no indication that the Chinese specifically and consciously chose "Common Era" in particular. — CIS (talk | stalk) 19:30, 12 June 2010 (UTC)
Words have a primary meaning, and connotations due to their etymology. For example, "Common Era" and "Anno Domini" have the same primary meaning: the system of year numbering initiated by Dionysius Exiguus. However, the connotations are different. Translations cannot be relied upon to preserve the connotations, so you could cite 10,000 English translations of Chinese documents, all of which use the term "Common Era", and all it would prove is that that the translators preferred to use "Common Era" rather than some other English term. Jc3s5h (talk) 19:41, 12 June 2010 (UTC)

Chinese_era_name#How_the_Era_System_worked discusses how 元 (yuán) was used to indicate the naming of an "era" long before 87 BCE, and has been used many times since to mean exactly what "era" means in English --JimWae (talk) 02:15, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Thanks Jim. That is the consistent advice we have been getting from Chinese-speaking editors over the years. Right now there is a "not in citation given" tag on the term (last paragraph of "Usage" section). The citation is a Chinese one, summarizing the history of the the First CPPCC Plenary Session in 1949. While the Chinese characters are not included, the term "common era" is clear. The purpose of the section, as I understand it, is to document usage of the term "common era." Shall we remove the citations, or the tag? BTW, since this discussion has morphed into discussion of the use of the term in Chinese, I've given it a new subsection name. Sunray (talk) 18:30, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
The citation in question shows that the Chinese adopted an era that is numerically equivalent to that used in western nations. The citation, by itself, does not indicate what connotations or etymology the Chinese phrase has. The kind of publication that would properly discuss that would be a Chinese dictionary, written in Chinese, and written for a Chinese-speaking audience. Alternatively, there is a chance someone might have written a calendar-related book, comparable to Blackburn & Holford-Strevens but written in Chinese. The chance of finding an English-language work about Chinese etymology seems very slender. Jc3s5h (talk) 20:10, 13 June 2010 (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't get your point. JimWae has confirmed that the Chinese characters mean "common era." The citation shows that Chinese authorities have adopted "common era" for their calendar. The section is about usage of the term "common era." What is the problem? Sunray (talk) 00:21, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
JimWae is a Wikipedia editor, not a reliable source, so his conclusions can't be cited in the article. Not that it matters, but his contribution to this discussion is to cite a Wikipedia article to show 元 means era; that still leaves the question of the etymology and connotation of 公, and whether 公元 means what one would expect, or whether that combination of two words has an unexpected meaning. In any case, Wikipedia articles don't serve as sources for other Wikipedia articles. Jc3s5h (talk) 01:29, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
The first thing I think we need to agree on is that the format of the sentence in question needs to be changed from what it is now. Currently, it reads: "In Asia, the Chinese use the term "Common Era (公元)", but I think this should be altered to reflect the Korean and Japanese etymologies that follow, i.e. "In Asia, the Chinese use gōngyuán (公元), which translates to "[X]". It is the value of "[X]" that we are deciding upon now. As per one of the links that JimWae has provided, gōngyuán is a compound of two words, gōng and yuán. According to that source, Gōng on its own can mean "fair or equitable; public; duke". Yuán can mean "first; dollar; origin; head". Should we use one of the words from each of these examples to fill the [X]? What about "public origin"? Thoughts?. — CIS (talk | stalk) 01:56, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I don't understand where you get the word "gōngyuán" and I haven't seen a coherent argument for changing the phrase. You surely aren't objecting to the Chinese characters, are you? If so, we can remove them. The fact that the Chinese use the term "common era" is well documented. Sunray (talk) 05:54, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Read the link again, and read JimWae's comments. 公元 = gōng​ yuán. — CIS (talk | stalk) 08:35, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Here and here are sources that 公元 is used to tag the year number as the same as used in Gregorian calendar. Here and here are 2 sources to indicate yuán​ (元) was used to mark era names in ancient times - so obviously the literal translation of 公元 (gōng​ yuán​) is not "Christian era". Perhaps a better literal translation, IF we were to take the characters separately, would be "common first" - but good translations are not made by simply compounding the literal elements. The "common" part seems to be pretty well supported, tho' more may yet be found This should be enough at least to show that translation of 公元 as "common era" is not wrong-headed & can likely to be further verified with further research. --JimWae (talk) 07:41, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
Okay, how about instead of focusing on the translation, we do a rewording something like this: "In Asia, the Chinese use gōngyuán (公元) to indicate the Common Era". — CIS (talk | stalk) 08:35, 14 June 2010 (UTC)
I thought the point of the paragraph giving the Chinese information, as well as the paragraph before it, was to show examples of other languages that use a relatively non-religious term for the era. If we can't cite sources to show that a particular language uses a non-religious term, it shouldn't be in those paragraphs. If you think there is no reason to have such a list of languages, delete them all. Jc3s5h (talk) 12:23, 14 June 2010 (UTC) when translating "公元" in simplified Chinese says A.D. Not sure if it's literal, but that's the direct translation from that site. I know it's not a reliable source, but I hope it helps. (talk) 04:06, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
The the two dissenting arguments regarding the wording of the relevant Chinese are not properly addressing each other. The claim that the prevailing Chinese is in support of the CE/BCE "common era terminology" is probably erroneous. This is evidenced by the english "CE" and "AD" both being translated into the same Chinese phrase gōngyuán. I recommend revising the sentence regarding the chinese convention to "...calendar without any direct religious connotation." To clarify that the debate between use of CE versus AD designations does not exist in Chinese. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:41, 19 May 2014 (UTC)

Date format for this article[edit]

  • This 2004-NOV-27 edit appears to be first-usage of date format for this article. It used DMY in External links.
  • This 2005-MAR-22 edit changed the date format in the External links from DMY to MDY
  • This 2005-MAR-23 edit appears to be the first usage of a date format in the body of the article. It used September 11 (Month day)
  • This 2005-MAR-26 edit by Jguk changed some of the external links back to DMY
  • This 2005-MAY-03 edit removed September 11. External Links still mixed format
  • This 2005-MAY-14 edit introduced "19 Sivan" within a quote to body of the article. Sivan is a month on the Hebrew calendar. It also documents usage of the abbreviation VE from 1825
  • This 2005-MAY-19 edit changed 2 external links to DMY, but also wikified them so that user preferences could apply
  • The very next edit undid the previous edit.
  • This 2005-MAY-22 edit changed ALL the external links to DMY and wikified them all.
  • This 2005-NOV-23 edit re-introduced MDY into the body of the article with a wikilinked March 21, 1844.--JimWae (talk) 20:31, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
  • This 2009-AUG-26 edit changed consistent YYYY-MM-DD format in refs to consistent DMY format with edit summary of "Make date format consistent and follow WP:MOS"--JimWae (talk) 02:05, 13 June 2010 (UTC)

Popular usage discussion missing[edit]

The article does a great job explaining how CE and BCE are being used in scientific and academic fields, but there needs to be something discussing the reality that both AD and BC and still overpoweringly the common-use preference in everyday language. I'm sure one of the many sources cited in this article, or perhaps another source, can be used to support the statement that "neither CE nor BCE has, as yet, entered the common English vernacular." (talk) 05:45, 31 May 2010 (UTC)

Political correctness[edit]

I disagree with Huey45's edits (first, second and third) which, in Wikipedia's voice, stated those who use CE notation do so as a political correctness measure. My primary objection is that the source, Andrew Herrmann writing in the Chicago Sun-Times, attributes the phrase "political correctness" to the Southern Baptist Convention, but Herrmann does not indicate himself that is the actual motivation for the increasing use of CE notation. Thus, the article in the form advocated by Huey45 misrepresents the views of Herrmann.

The views of the Southern Baptist Convention are stated later in the article, just search in the page for political correctness.

In addition to misrepresenting Herrmann's views, I believe we should avoid the phrase "political correctness" without attribution because it is a new phrase; my American Heritage Dictionary (3rd ed., 1992) doesn't even list it. Since it is new, the meaning is subject to rapid and unpredictable change, and so should be avoided in a work like Wikipedia where we strive for articles that are as stable as the underlying subject matter allows. Jc3s5h (talk) 02:43, 24 June 2010 (UTC)

I hate to say it, but using an American dictionary as the definitive guide is rather fallacious. The terms "politically correct" and "political correctness" do not require a dictionary definition anyway, since the meaning is inherently obvious from each of the two words. It's akin to saying "My dictionary doesn't list "Brown Cow", so there's no such thing as a brown cow".
I wasn't "misrepresent[ing] the views of Herrmann" anyway. In fact, I didn't even read what Herrmann said, since it doesn't really matter in the first place. Everyone already knows that CE is used for political correctness and I never claimed that Hermmann was a source of this obvious and universally-known fact. (Huey45 (talk) 03:06, 24 June 2010 (UTC))
Besides being unsourced, [[political correctness] is primarily a pejorative term. It's usage in the article in the voice of wikipedia is provocative & unnecessary. Most of Huey45's edits today indicate an agenda to promote the usage of AD, inserting it into articles in violation of WP:ERA. JimWae (talk) 03:14, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
I didn't say Huey45 misrepresented the views of Herrmann, I said the article, in the form advocated by Huey45, misrepresents Herrmann's views. If Huey45 "didn't even read what Herrmann said" he can't dispute my claim; he would have to read Herrmann's views before he could know. Jc3s5h (talk) 03:28, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
My other (numerous) contributions to the encyclopaedia are irrelevant and your reference to them is an obvious ad hominem argument. Clearly you disregarded my advice to read WP:NPA. Nevertheless, I use AD and BC because that has been the correct way to do it for hundreds of years and CE/BCE is a redundant "alternative" advocated by pseudo-intellectuals for the sake of pandering to purely hypothetical minority groups, who supposedly blame Christianity rather than Western society for imposing academic practices on them.
Being a pejorative term is really a matter of one's opinion. Some see political correctness as inherently bad, but others see it as a great virtue. It is not universally used as a pejorative term; it does have a definite meaning. I would be willing to support a viable alternative to the words "political correctness" for this part of the article though, since this sentence is in dire need of a better explanation. If someone who didn't already know about CE were reading this, then it would be difficult to understand why scholars would use the term. The current explanation of "being sensitive to non-Christians" doesn't really help, since one could only understand it if they (fallaciously) assumed that non-Christians are all deeply offended by the minor reference to Christ.(Huey45 (talk) 03:31, 24 June 2010 (UTC))
It is unsourced & needlessly gives a POV spin to the article in the voice of wikipedia. You have no ground to stand on. People have been permanently banned from wikipedia for violating WP:ERA, so your other edits are relevant. WP:NPA does not mean one cannot draw attention to a verifiable history of edits that violates wp policies. The clause also wrecks the structure of the sentence. JimWae (talk) 03:44, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
No it doesn't; the grammatical accuracy of the sentence is still preserved. If you object to "political correctness", then what should be written there? The status quo is inadequate because the reader would already have to know about CE/BCE before they could understand the introductory explanation. btw I didn't break the WP:ERA rule. (Huey45 (talk) 03:53, 24 June 2010 (UTC))
"Do not use CE or AD unless the date would be ambiguous without it. E.g., "The Norman Conquest took place in 1066." not 1066 CE or AD 1066." The sentence is now a syntactic mess, the clause is unsourced & needlessly contentious & POV. The reason for adoption comes at the end of the sentence --JimWae (talk) 03:57, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
The sentence would be a lot less messy without the huge tags all over the place. Anyway, you might be surprised to learn that there are people who don't struggle with grammar. Just because you aren't familiar with clauses (as can be seen by your contribution to Trojan War) doesn't mean everyone else will get confused by them. The currently-listed reason is vague and ambiguous. As I said before, people could only understand it if they assumed that non-Christians are offended by the minor reference to Christ. This assumption would not be made by everyone, since it's rather ridiculous in the first place. (Huey45 (talk) 04:34, 24 June 2010 (UTC))
Can we please leave out the phrase 'political correctness'. It does have a pov pejorative taint to it. And Huey45, you are being insulting and I read your comment about pseudo-intellectuals as a personal attack on editors who prefer BCE/CE. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dougweller (talkcontribs) 05:13, 24 June 2010 (UTC)
AngusYoung.JPG This user believes that in the spirit of diversity and inclusion, Wikipedians should start referring to everyone's favorite Australian band as CA/DCE.

--Antigrandiose (talk) 20:47, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

'Politically correct' as an insult is a variant of Goodwin's Law: a traditionalist of some culture doesn't like an altenative world view and so, unable to accept the equal validity of that term in other cultures or value systems, is reduced to trivialising the debate by throwing empty insults about. Wikipedia should not give any support to such people by quoting them. --Red King (talk) 22:23, 17 July 2010 (UTC)

Some of us find beauty in language, and are disappointed when they see people trivializing it by using stilted nomenclature to further their own political agendas. That you attribute other people's motives to an adherence to a "traditionalist" world view shows that you just don't get it. Maybe you should spend a little less time on Wikipedia and go back to writing your community college essay on "equal validity" and "value systems." --Antigrandiose (talk) 23:51, 17 July 2010 (UTC)
Others of us see clarity in inclusive contemporary-language terms and can manage to say so without resorting to petty personal attacks. (or ad hominem since you prefer Latin).--Red King (talk) 23:54, 23 July 2010 (UTC)
And I like to dance naked in the moonlight and burn myself with lit cigarettes. You don't like it? POV, POV, POV! In all seriousness guys, can we stop with the attacks? Both sides have equal weight and have valued things to say. Both are correct in their own ways (AD being more traditional and a part of the English Language's history, CE being more modern). I'd like to see this article in better shape as well and not torn to bits by senseless fueding. If we can't stop the Wiki:Hate, then maybe we need an administrator to go AD/CE on your rear ends. (talk) 04:18, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Err, to add to what I said, is on the page? It notes that BCE and CE were originally used in Theological writings? How is CE and BCE better than AD and BC in this regard? (talk) 04:26, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
It allows Christian, Jewish and Muslim theologians to discuss the same dates without a clearly religious bias. Dougweller (talk) 05:16, 22 August 2010 (UTC)
Ah I see. That makes sense. Well, sort of. I don't see a bias in a 1500 year+ name for a dating system, but I guess I'd feel the same if it was based on any event really. My bet is that the debate between AD and CE would have gone the same if AD was something else. Either way, thanks for the info. (talk) 19:01, 24 August 2010 (UTC)
Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, or atheists might not object to BC (interpreted as "before Christianity"), but could not possibly use AD (anno domini, "in the year of the lord") -- Jesus is not their lord.Linguistatlunch (talk) 14:06, 29 March 2011 (UTC)
Some year must be chosen to mark the epoch -- that is unavoidable -- and someone will always have a more preferred event. However, it is the honorifics (Lord, Christ) in the nomenclature and abbreviations that can make one seek other terminology & abbreviations. It would be a bit (not exactly) like seeing pbuh everywhere Mohommed was mentioned in this encyclopedia, or having pronouns referring to Jesus always capitalized - and those honorifics are not even proclamations of faith --JimWae (talk) 19:26, 24 August 2010 (UTC)

In my defense, and I know that this response is a long-time coming, but I for one am against the unnecessary use of Latinized English, so I'm a bit taken aback by someone saying I "prefer Latin." I think my use of the term "nomenclature" is what set this off. (I just hope it wasn't "valid" because if it is I'm going to look stupid). I used the arguably stock term "stilted nomenclature" as a shorthand for "pompous system of redesignating" names for things that already have names. I think the term I used was the shortest, most concise, and most appropriate. --AntigrandiosËTalk 01:21, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Strange Introduction Sentence[edit]

Last sentence reads "Others suggest it does not go far enough—because it does not remove the birth of Jesus as the era marker, and still focuses on an event in Western civilization." Since when has Bethlehem (two thousand or so years ago) been considered part of Western civilization? If the sentence remains, it should be rewritten to include (something like) "... still focuses on a Jesu-centric calendar". And a quick note regarding the whole Jesus Christ (Messiah, our Lord) references thing: it is usually quite acceptable to all religions in this and similar conversations, so as not to offend, to refer to "Jesus of Nazareth". (talk) 02:56, 7 September 2010 (UTC)

I agree with this. I just read this article for the first time tonight, and I was very confused upon reading that this event was part of Western Civilization. I think that part of the sentence definitely needs to be changed. (talk) 11:07, 3 October 2010 (UTC)
I also agree - the last part of the sentence makes no sense, the birth of Jesus was not an event in Western civilisation per se, however it could be re-written to say that this event has more significance for Western civilisations. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:05, 4 November 2010 (UTC)

AD is an abbreviation for Christian Era[edit]

I have reverted this edit because the cited source indicates that AD is an abbreviation for Common Era. This is consistent with other abbreviations, where an English abbreviation can be based on the Latin form of the word. An example of this is the abbreviation for pound, lb. In any case, it is just plain wrong to misrepresent what the cited source says. Jc3s5h (talk) 03:25, 22 December 2010 (UTC)


Tonight I was looking for the meaning of the expresion CE in way of pointing to a certain time period. Wikipedia is usualy the best place to look at, easier than my old encyclopedia, but this time I changed my mind. In over 7.500 words this article is not capable to make me clear the meaning of BCE, BC, CE, AD and propably some more I missed in the article. I use Wikipedia regulary but this is by far the worst article I have seen. I'm not a native english speaker, but fluent in it, my spelling coud be better, but that is all. I think this article will never be clear, you cannot edit this in such a way that it becomes clear. In my old line of work, I use to be a marine engineer, we would trow it away, don't think about it for a while, and start all over again. Much easier, and a lot of less headache. Regards R.O. Roffel Gesina11 (talk) 23:19, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Can you give a citation to an article about CE that is clear? Until I see a better article, I'm tempted to think the problem isn't so much the way this article is written as that CE itself is unclear and contentious. Jc3s5h (talk) 04:10, 7 January 2011 (UTC)

You found a bad article on Wikipedia? Congratulations, what are the chances of that... about 9 to 1 I would guess.

Your question was answered in the article's first line, btw. "CE is a synonym of AD". That's it. That's literally everything to know to understand what it means.

The rest of the article is dedicated to why there is this redundancy in conventions and why people care so much about the issue. --dab (𒁳) 12:12, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

ok, so I note the article is really extremely bad. Apparently somebody thought intense Wikipedia:Bombardment with links to every online dictionary and everyone who ever commented on the question on the web would make for a good article, or at least obscure the article's flaws a little. The article needs to be cleaned up in this respect. Making some airy claim followed by a dozen footnotes containing an assortment of random urls is extremely bad practice. Use one reference per claim made, and make sure that it is a good reference that can be quoted and that actually contains the point that is being made. Citing two dozen dictionaries confirming that CE means "Common Era" is just clutter.

I suppose this is basically an article about the US culture wars. I don't mind such articles, as long as they make clear that this is their focus. The "Common Era" thing has some history outside of and predating the US culture wars (basically "conservatives vs. liberals", where, I imagine, writing "CE" makes you "liberal", from which it follows that "AD" makes you "conservative"). So if 90% of this is going to be about US culture wars, at least make this explicit and don't conflate it with material that has a wider scope historically, regionally or intellectually. --dab (𒁳) 13:03, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

You're saying CE and BCE aren't used outside of the US? I don't believe that is so, they are used throughout the English-speaking world to a varying degree. Even in the United States they are not at all widespread in popular culture, with the 2008 film 10,000 BC being a prime example (they also showed ads promoting a release date suffixed "AD", not "CE"). CE/BCE are moreso used within Jewish circles and academia, the latter having been at odds with religion for so long that it seems only natural for them to want to use a secular euphemism for anything remotely associated with Christianity. — CIS (talk | stalk) 13:15, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
As I've noted before, it's used by Christian theologians also. Dougweller (talk) 13:19, 19 July 2011 (UTC)
No one is in charge of this aspect of the English language, and at least in the US it is contentious. I don't think there is any single source on any point related to the topic that would satisfy all (or most) of the factions. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:26, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

Wikipedia changed its BC to BCE - lost culture war? Why?[edit]

I have not seen the use of BCE until recently. There is nothing in this article to suggest why this change has made.

A search in the Wayback Machine reveals that Wikipedia itself used BC instead of BCE as late as 2003. Therefore the change has occurred within the psyche of the Wikipedia culture itself, again why and for what purpose?

I submit that the purpose of the change from BCE is quasi-religous, and politically corrent.

Please see the content of Wikipedia from 2003 quoted here Verbatim (


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

These pages contain the trends of millennia and centuries. The individual century pages contain lists of decades and years. See also History for different organizations of historical events.

For earlier time periods see cosmological timeline, geologic timescale, evolutionary timeline, pleistocene, and palaeolithic.

   10th millennium BC
   9th millennium BC
   8th millennium BC
   7th millennium BC
   6th millennium BC
   5th millennium BC 

Visiblecontent (talk) 13:15, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

You are on the wrong page. This page is to discuss the article Common Era, not to debate it's use on Wikippedia. That you haven't seen its use is irrelevant and simply shows that you haven't seen it. This article explains some of its uses. Dougweller (talk) 14:14, 5 July 2012 (UTC)

Common Era category nominations[edit]

Arthur Rubin (talk) 16:51, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

Problems with Dbachmann's edits[edit]

The statement "This same calendar era could be referred to equivalently as "Christian Era", "Vulgar Era" or "Common Era" in the 18th century. " is incorrect in that "Christian Era" never fell out of use as a designation for the Dionysian era. The article contains no mention that the designation "Christian Era" is still in use.

Current Era redirects to this article but it is no longer mentioned, except in a footnote.

The {{Off-topic}} template in the"Dionysian era" section implies this article is exclusively about the contention between AD advocates and CE advocates, and therefore any description of the era itself is off-topic. Is that really what we want? Jc3s5h (talk) 13:59, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

1 January 1970[edit]

Why is the common era measured from the birth of a zombie rather than 00:00:00 UTC on 1 January 1970AD? (talk) 22:01, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

kinah; Ick nu da bani sah ju za na leh deek peh badre yia coure.
Rough Karnician Translation: "Reply; What does a Zombie have to do with the price of tea in China? This would be the standard sarcastic reply for an other than coherent comment. Otr500 (talk) 01:22, 8 September 2011 (UTC)

Usage in Portuguese Languange countries[edit]

Can someone confirm this? I have never seen it anywhere written in Portuguese (in fact, it doesn't even make sense, since the traditional is a.C. and d.C. - before Christ and after Christ). (talk) 08:52, 15 September 2011 (UTC)

"Christian Era" in lead[edit]

This change reintroduces "Christian Era" to the lead, which now reads:

Common Era (sometimes Current Era or Christian Era) abbreviated as CE, is an alternative designation for the calendar era originally introduced by Dionysius Exiguus in the 6th century, traditionally identified with Anno Domini (abbreviated AD).

This creates two problems:

  1. Is "Christian Era" really an alternative designation, or should it be considered a synonym of "Anno Domini"? The only justification for not considering them synonyms is that Anno Domini implies that there is only one lord, the Christian's lord. "Christian Era" could be read to mean the era used by Christians, without implying an endorsement of Christian beliefs.
  2. If the sentence structure indicates the items inside the parentheses are also abbreviated CE, there is no source to show CE is an abbreviation for Christian Era. Conversely, if the items inside the parentheses are not necessarily abbreviated CE, then the abbreviation for Current Era is not stated. Jc3s5h (talk) 21:57, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
After some searching, I found which explicitly states that CE is an abbreviation for Christian Era, so my second point above is resolved. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:32, 3 November 2011 (UTC)

I have just used Wikipedia to find out what BCE means. I have seen it, along with CE several times in the past few years but simply pressumed it to be an abbreviated form of Before the Christian Era. I often wondered what AD (Anno Dominii) really meant and until adulthood (I'm mid 40s) thought of it as After Death. So my concept of BC and AD was equivalent to before christianity started and after chritianity started. My thinking being that christianity didn't start until after the death of Jesus. I now believe the changeover point was meant to refer to the birth of Jesus or shortly afterwards. I stray a little. My point being that I have never come across the phrase "Common Era" until this article. My assumtion was that the symbols BCE and CE had been recently adopted as alternatives to BC and AD to prevent insulting or causing offense to non-christians, whilst retaining the idea of when the focal point was. I am fully supportive of that concept. The article was very informative and to me seemed mostly balanced. On reflection, I find the lead very good. Hence this entry here. However, in later areas the article seems to imply that CE always means Common Era, the phrase repeated often and so projecting a secular bias. For example, the section that mentions Watchtower. I would expect this organisation in particular to think CE means Christian Era. I see that the phrase Common Era could be insulting to christians and non-christians alike. The first because it might debase their belief system, and the second because it might indicate christianity is the predominant belief system, ie. it is Common. This second use is probably the original source of the phrase as, where it was used in the form Vulgaris Aera, this was true. Though I'm more inclined to believe that the use of VA or VE was more to promote the idea that timescales should not be dominated by earthly, royal personalities. The talk page shows that most editors are far more educated than me, so I accept I may be wrong. I am a newbie after all. Huradon (talk) 16:28, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

The problem is that most era designations consist of only a two or three letter abbreviation, and it is impractical to interview each author and ask the authors what meaning they had in mind. So unless some organization of language scholars want to organize a massive opinion poll, I don't see how to resolve the question. Jc3s5h (talk) 18:38, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
I used to think AD stood for "After the Day" where Day referred to the birth of Jesus. Not sure if there is any accuracy in this or it was just me making up a reason for the abbreviation.Spitzak (talk) 22:28, 16 March 2015 (UTC)

Nazi Germany[edit]

The use of the "v. u. Z." convention was already prescribed in Nazi Germany. See page 149 in Weiße Blätter issue May 1938:

  • Auf dem Reichslehrgang der Gaufachbearbeiter für Vor- und Frühgeschichte in Bayreuth wurden folgende Einheitsbezeichnungen festgelegt: Statt "vor und nach Christi Geburt" ist zu sagen "vor und nach der Zeitrechnung"; statt "vor-, nach-, provinzialrömisch oder kaiserzeitlich" sind zur Bezeichnung germanischer Zeitabschnitte und Kulturzustände die Ausdrücke "ur- und großgermanisch" zu verwenden; statt v ist in germanischen Worten w einzusetzen, z.B. in Wandaler, Ariowist; lateinische Ableitungsformen sind zu vermeiden, also ist zu sagen Karlinger statt Karolinger, Merwinger statt Merowinger; statt ostdeutscher "Kolonisation" soll es heißen ostdeutsche Landerschließung, Rückgewinnung, Wiederbesiedlung, Rodezeit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dinarsad (talkcontribs) 12:35, 28 December 2011 (UTC)
    • Which Google 'very roughly translates as

      At the diet course of Gaufachbearbeiter for Pre-and Early History in Bayreuth following unit designations were defined: Instead of "before and after the birth of Christ" is to say "before and after the era", instead of "before", "after", Provincial or Roman Emperor in time "to describe Germanic periods and cultural conditions are the terms" pre-and large-Germanic "should be used, instead of v is to use in Germanic words w, for example, Vandals, Ariowist; are Latin derivation forms to avoid, so to say Karlinger instead Carolingians Merwinger place Merovingians, instead of East German "colonization" is it hot east German land development, reclamation, resettlement,

But at this point I would refer editors to Goodwin's Law. --Red King (talk) 21:37, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Requested move in unison with Anno Domini move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: not moved. Favonian (talk) 17:21, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Simplified English Watchtower[edit]

Is the usage of "after Christ" in the simplified English Watchtower" really encyclopedic, or is this just something that once had a purpose in the article that has taken on a life of its own? Jc3s5h (talk) 15:09, 30 August 2012 (UTC) Common EraGregorian and Julian calendar era (or Dionysius Exiguus' calendar era) – a move in unison with sister article Anno Domini to AD, BC, CE and BCE or Gregorian and Julian calendar era notations to change the focus of both articles. The article that is now Anno Domini would focus on the abbreviations, while the article that is now Common Era would focus on the era and link to the article about the abbreviations that are used (AD, BC, CE and BCE) to suffix the years after or prior to the era's epoch.

I don't see how we can determine from any reliable sources that "Common Era" is more popularly interpreted as the definition for the "CE" abbreviation than Current Era, or especially Christian Era, which, per sources, came about prior to 'Common Era'. It seems that Wikipedia itself is contributing to external sources' claims that CE is foremost meant as "Common Era", I don't see that claim being made in any reliable sources prior to the existence of this article under the title Common Era, and any recently-increased popularity of "Common" can be attributed to the name choice here on Wikipedia.

Can anyone provide an argument for why the abbreviations themselves (AD/BC and CE/BCE) should have separate articles both trying to summarize the era itself when they are all just abbreviations for the same era? It is redundant to have two full articles focusing on the same era, with the only difference being the semantics of the abbreviations used. This is certainly a convoluted and controversial issue, but the current title locations of Common Era and Anno Domini are too insufficient and biased in my view — FoxCE (talk | contribs) 22:11, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

The "Anno Domini" article is about the era. Its title is a slight adaptation of the column heading found in the source that created the era, which reads "ANNI DOMINI NOSTRI JESU CHRISTI". The "Common Era" article is about the alternate notation and abbreviations CE & BCE. It was felt that the article about the era, which applies to all countries, should not get bogged down with the history of some notation that is used only in English-speaking countries.
At the same time, Wikipedia should cover the controversy stirred up by the CE/BCE notation, and it was felt it would be less distracting to have that coverage in a separate article. Jc3s5h (talk) 22:51, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I think the 'controversy stirred up by CE/BCE' should be covered at an article about all (four?) notations, while the era for which these abbreviations are used should have a separate dedicated article. It doesn't really matter to me which article is moved to what, but the main point is that I think one article should be about the era itself, and the other about all of the abbreviations. At the very least, Common Era should be moved to CE and BCE to avoid biased favoritism of one interpretation of the abbreviation CE. — FoxCE (talk | contribs) 23:00, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm not sure it should be covered at all. BCE/CE - used by Hitler and Communists - should be consigned to the dustbin and Wikipedia should stop following current fashions of political correctness. Until they do, I will not donate one penny to their fundraising. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:55, 12 December 2016 (UTC)

Well a quick search gave me [4] where CE is used as an abbreviation for common era in 1916, so I don't think it is due to Wikipedia! 'Common era' has been used for nearly a century before that as well. I rally don't think much of this article using web pages with no provinance to bolster up things in the lead, references to books should be used for something like this. Dmcq (talk) 23:30, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I think there should be one article about the era (who created it, why, how it spread, etc.) and another about the notation controversy. Note that the notation article cannot be purely about abbreviations, because it is what the abbreviations are thought to represent that creates the controversy. Also, it is normal practice when there are two related articles for each to have a summary of the other. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:31, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I think you may have misunderstood what I said, I wasn't claiming that Wikipedia is itself responsible for the term "Common Era", but rather that it may have contributed at least in part to "Common Era" being seen as foremost what the "C" represents in CE, relegating "Current" and "Christian" to being merely secondary definitions. — FoxCE (talk | contribs) 23:35, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Christian era redirects to "Anno Domini", indicating it is a synonym for that era. Current Era redirects to "Common Era", indicating that it is nearly a synonym but, like "Common Era", has less obvious religious connotations. Jc3s5h (talk) 23:40, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
For now it does, but check out the history for that redirect and you'll see there's a long history of dispute as to the location of the redirect. I realize that "Current" and "Common" are both less explicitly religious than "Christian", but reliable sources indicate "Christian Era" as one of three notable meanings for the abbreviation CE, and perhaps most importantly, the first known historical usage of the abbreviations themselves (BCE and CE) was used by a Jewish academic who defined the abbreviations as "Christian Era", not "Common Era". — FoxCE (talk | contribs) 23:47, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The terms "Gregorian" and "Julian" relate to the number of days in a year and the number of days in each month, not to the era issue. When Caesar introduced the Julian calender, I'm pretty sure no one referred to the year as "45 BC" (or 45 BCE). The anno Domini article should be moved to "Christian era". "anno Domini" is obviously not the English-language era name. Oxford redirects "common era" to "Christian era." "Common era" a euphemism that intentionally confuses the issue which era is common. If you date from the birth of Buddha, that's Buddhist era (B.E.). Kauffner (talk) 03:26, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment if this is a multimove request,it should use the multimove format. (talk) 07:57, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • American Heritage Dictionary 3rd ed. lists anno Domini with no note about being part of another language. By contrast, "et al." is noted as being latin. The Oxford link given by Kauffner also does not contain any note that anno Domini is non-English. It appears to me that anno Domini has become part of English. Jc3s5h (talk) 08:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
    • The definition of anno Domini in Merriam-Webster says, "used to indicate that a time division falls within the Christian era". Oxford redirects you to "AD," which I think makes more sense. Either way, "anno Domini" is not the same as the era name. Kauffner (talk) 10:34, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Strictly speaking, Kauffner is correct. "Christian era" is a noun while "anno Domini", according to all 3 dictionaries mentioned above, is an adverb. I don't quite understand why it's an adverb, since it usually modifies a year, which I guess would be a noun. In any case, I generally would rather see nouns as article titles rather than adverbs. But in this case, "Christian era" might refer to many things other than just the calendar era under discussion; "anno Domini" is more specific. I also think the article should be located at one of the most common terms for the era, rather than some location that is a politically correct compromise. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:50, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Would fail WP:TITLE. That's not what the article is about, or would be about. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 14:16, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose both renames. They are both widely used terms, somewhat interchangeable depending on "political correctness", but have specific meanings that the proposed titles would not properly cover. --UnQuébécois (talk) 18:23, 21 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose both renames. Both existing titles are good titles for good topics. If the other proposed titles can be shown to describe encyclopedic topics, which I'm inclined to doubt, then write new articles about them, too. Andrewa (talk) 11:41, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose per WP:COMMONNAME. The term 'Common Era' is in widespread international use, is controversial in and of itself in some locations, and it has a life beyond a particular calendar. --Red King (talk) 17:15, 28 February 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Simplified English Watchtower - update[edit]

While it's true that The Watchtower -- Simplified English Edition may use "after Christ" in the immediate context of "before Christ," It doesn't have to be mentioned explicitly in the main article, as I did originally. I have changed the wording to simply state that the above magazine does not use the BCE/CE convention as the other Watchtower publications do. -- Glenn L (talk) 09:34, 6 November 2013 (UTC)

Why not "±CC" ?[edit]

I dare to break wiki rules and ask, why not simply ±CC (for Common Chronology), comparable to ±°C/F for temperatures??? HJJHolm (talk) 09:50, 30 September 2013 (UTC)

That would not be in keeping with the No original research policy. Wikipedia uses the English language, and sometimes describes it, but doesn't invent it. Jc3s5h (talk) 17:07, 30 September 2013 (UTC)
The common era is not *like* the celsius scale, because there is no Year 0! sverdrup (talk) 16:33, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

Why does wikipedia insist on using the CE BCE dating system alternative to the AD BC? If it is due to religious sensitivity may I remind you that Monday Tuesday Wednesdays etc the days of the week are also named after roman gods, but you don't see any body screaming protest on those?


Is it because that there is increased anti-Christian sentiment in the world? Does that mean that Wikipedia will be biased in the way it represents information because it's easily swayed by popular sentiment? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:41, 24 December 2013 (UTC)

Germans, Jews and Jews' joke[edit]

In the article: "In Germany, Enlightened Jews in Berlin seem to have already been using "(Before the) Common Era" in the 18th century [...] [source: time] The formulation seems to [...] [source: Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums]

  1. "seem to" & "seems to" - that sounds like speculation/possibilities/OR
  2. "(Before the) Common Era" - did jews in Germany really use English words and not hebrew/jewish/jiddish or German words? The jew sources time (preview) and Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums only mention German words.

In the article: "In 1938 Nazi Germany, the use of this convention was also prescribed by the National Socialist Teachers League, apparently because the Christian and Roman chronology were not "Germanic" enough. [source: Weiße Blätter]
However, it was soon discovered that many German Jews had been using the convention ever since the 18th century, and they found it ironic to see "Aryans following Jewish example nearly 200 years later". [source: time]"

  • Weiße Blätter (German): "Statt ,,vor und nach Christi Geburt´´ ist zu sagen ,,vor und nach der Zeitrechnung´´" (,, and ´´ for German quotation marks, and it 's using Fraktur with long-s, not antiqua/roman)
  • That jew source time (preview; English with a few German words): "Nazi schoolbooks should refer to 490 V. ZTR. and 1870 N. ZTR., meaning VOR ZEITRECHNUNG and NACH ZEITRECHNUNG" (should German schoolbooks really put it into capital letters? That would look retarded and non-German) and "Long ago, when [...] Moses Mendelssohn [...]..." (with "..." indicating an open end). So time uses other words than in Weiße Blätter, maybe this is because it is English and thus kind of retarded.
  • Allgemeine Zeitung des Judenthums (German, mixed with hebrew/jewish/jiddish; 1839): "vor der gewöhnlichen Zeitrechnung"

At least with this sources Jews and Germans used similar but different words as Jews had an additional "gewöhnlichen" (common). Thus with this sources the parts "many German Jews had been using the convention ever since the 18th century" and ""Aryans following Jewish example nearly 200 years later"" are wrong resp. kind of wrong.

Does the non-preview version of time say something different than the preview version?
If not, than this article is partly wrong or at least unsourced. - (talk) 20:10, 4 January 2014 (UTC)

Moving things around[edit]

I see a user moved this and another user moved it back. Just a reminder that any but the least controversial moves should be discussed first. --John (talk) 10:04, 17 February 2014 (UTC)

Citations sought[edit]

This article seems a bit incomplete to me, but I don't want to add anything potentially controversial to the article without supporting citations. So does anybody know of reliable sources that support, oppose, or discuss any of the following related sub-topics (or alternatively feel able to deal with some of these sub-topics in such an uncontroversial manner that citations are not required):

  • -Other meanings for CE/BCE besides the 3 already given (Common/ Current/ Christian Era) - perhaps 'Convenient Era', 'Conventional Era', 'Conveniently-dated Era', 'Conventionally-dated Era', etc
  • -Alternatives to both CE/BCE and AD/BC, such as 'Usefully-dated Era', 'Practically-dated Era', etc
  • -Criticism of the critics of both CE/BCE and AD/BC, on grounds that they are creating pointless disputes, taking unwarranted offence, causing pointless offence, making history unnecessarily difficult and perhaps dangerous to discuss (as in other areas people can and have lost their jobs for using terminology deemed offensive, etc), and so on
  • -Criticism of the entire debate as a more-or-less criminal way of trying to profitably force schools to waste badly needed funds replacing perfectly adequate history books to the profit of the book-sellers and to the detriment of children's educatation
  • -Support for CE/BCE because the C can stand for Christian
  • -Criticism of CE/BCE because the C can stand for Christian
  • -Criticism of CE/BCE because it may leave readers confused when they encounter AD/BC in a vast number of texts
  • -Criticism of CE/BCE because consistency would require changing not just other parts of the dating system such as weekday names and month names and the numbering system (already briefly mentioned in the article), but also most astronomical bodies (called after some deity or other), many geographical place names (called after religious or ideological figures like San Francisco or Darwin or notions like Sacramento or Islamabad), flags (which often have religious or ideological symbols such as crosses or crescents or red stars), outlawing the names of millions of individuals (often called after religious or ideological figures such as John or Mary or Muhammad or Darwin), and so on
  • -Arguing out that year zero usually makes no more sense than the equally non-existent century zero and millenium zero.
  • -Any other notions that others might think relevant

Tlhslobus (talk) 06:01, 6 May 2014 (UTC)

Actually, no, and the second listing above qualifies as WP:FRINGE. — Arthur Rubin (talk) 17:54, 6 May 2014 (UTC)
I'm not quite sure to what question you are answering 'no'. And your WP:Fringe comment seems premature. Assuming you are referring to 'Alternatives to both CE/BCE and AD/BC, such as ...', (as that is the second element in my list) I'm simply asking whether anybody knows of any RS-backed alternatives. A hypothetical alternative would not even qualify as WP:Fringe if it has no RS-backing at all, and if it has RS-backing then quite likely it would not be WP:Fringe, but in any case that couldn't be decided before it has even been found, and so far none has been found. Similar comments probably apply to most or all other elements in the list. Incidentally I expect that many elements in the list have no RS-backing, though I'd be mildly surprised and mildly disappointed (but not hugely surprised or disappointed) if no elements in the list had any RS backing.Tlhslobus (talk) 18:33, 8 May 2014 (UTC)

This article use American English[edit]

I have marked this article as using American English because of the word "favor" in this early version. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:18, 18 August 2014 (UTC)

Doesn't the sentence I've copied below belong here, not in the article?[edit]

" It is generally known, for example, that Britain and her colonies used the Julian calendar up to 1752, so it might be considered pedantic to mention this specifically." - that's a reflexive commentary, inappropriate in the article. Doug Weller (talk) 11:27, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

I do not believe the sentence. Based on copies I've seen from Wikipedia to Wikidata, most people don't know this. Indeed, I'd say most people have no awareness of the Julian calendar at all. Wikipedia does not have an absolute requirement that a date be labelled with the calendar it is stated in, and even if it is labelled, the label may appear in a footnote rather than immediately adjacent to the date. Wikidata, on the other hand, always labels a date as Gregorian or Julian (although their whole date process is badly broken at this time). My observation is that most copies of non-Gregorian dates from Wikipedia to Wikidata get the date wrong, whether it is anywhere prior to 1582, or in Britain from 1583 through 1751. Jc3s5h (talk) 11:33, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Use of BC instead of BCE not decided for Wikipedia articles[edit]

I learned the hard way (having my rename reverted for 6th millennium BC that it had already been decided (see Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates)#Articles on years, articles on numbers, article names containing non-date numbers, that BC is to be used instead of BCE within Wiki articles.

Maybe any discussion of which one (BC or BCE) should be used in Wikipedia should take place at Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates) and not here. PeterEdits (talk) 17:51, 27 June 2015 (UTC)

That does not appear to be strictly true. Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Dates and numbers#Era style says [correctly, IMO]
so what you fell foul of was the rule 'don't change what is there without discussion and justification'.
If one needs to wlink to, say, 6th millennium BC in an article that generally used BCE, then one should use the 'pipe' operator thus: [[6th millennium BC|6th millennium BCE]] (which produces 6th millennium BCE)--John Maynard Friedman (talk) 16:38, 10 July 2015 (UTC)

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Section "Convention in Style Guides" is demonstrably incorrect[edit]

Some style guides have similarly erred when suggesting that AD *precede* the year. This is only the case when the written form "In the year of our Lord" is used. It is demonstrably evident that AD, like BC, is much more frequently used FOLLOWING the year number. EG: Dfoofnik (talk) 21:53, 7 April 2016 (UTC) dfoofnik not signed in

Anarchist publication, appropriate example?[edit]

This section the article notes that an anarchist publication entitled "Lucifer" used CE: [5]. I wonder if this is an appropriately balanced example, and I would like to remove it, along with the picture. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 13:45, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

This doesn't strike me as a worthwhile source. Jc3s5h (talk) 13:48, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
Agree. Not notable. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 14:55, 11 November 2016 (UTC)
 Done Isambard Kingdom (talk) 19:03, 11 November 2016 (UTC)

NPOV in "Opposition" section?[edit]

Common Era#Opposition includes a lot of liberals, non-theists, and non-conservative Christians giving non-theological arguments about how BCE/CE has problems, but how many of them are actually "opposed" to its usage, especially its usage over BC/AD?

I personally never use BCE/CE when talking to my Christian or non-theistic friends and family (or in fact in speech in general -- most of the talking I do is in Japanese anyway), and I know why -- either it's not familiar to the people I'm talking to, or it's not important to be careful about it and it's less common. If I wrote a style manual for use in non-academic publications, I might even point this out. But I'm not in "opposition" to the BCE/CE format, and would be horrified if Wikipedia classified me in that way.

Additionally, even if we used a lighter word like "disadvantages", a lot of them are not actually disadvantages relative to BC/AD -- they are disadvantages relative to some hypothetical purely secular dating method that has nothing to do with the traditional date of Jesus' birth.

Hijiri 88 (やや) 00:23, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

You have much more interesting conversations with friends and family than I do. Really. I can't think of a time when I actually mentioned "BC" anything to my mother. Still, just as the Opposition section of this article mentions, some advocate for BC/AD not for clarity, but because they have a Christian agenda: "a reminder of the preeminence of Christ and His gospel". On wikipedia, I don't see many arbitrary (and unexplained) edits from BC/AD to BCE/CE. Usually, it is the other way around, and then often on articles that are more about Jewish history than anything. This is when things start to stink. Just my opinion. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 00:39, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
A lot of my friends were history majors in college, as is my brother, and I'm interested in history too, so it's not an uncommon topic of conversation. :P Anyway, I'm not talking about the bonafide opposition to BCE/CE from Christians, or anything on-wiki. I'm just saying that we shouldn't classify arguments for the use of BC/AD in certain circumstances and claims that the BCE/CE format is flawed or arbitrary from people who use it nonetheless as "opposition". Wilson clearly isn't "opposed" to the format per se -- he just says that BC/AD is more recognizable. Steel is (if we summarize his argument accurately; I haven't read his book) wrong in saying that the distinction is selective, since very few of the other aspects of the dating system he mentions are explicit confessions of faith in "pagan, ... Jewish, or Christian beliefs". Delaney is also wrong for the same reason. Citing authors who are wrong and whose views are not widely shared is a violation of WP:WEIGHT, and citing authors as holding views they don't actually hold is even worse. Hijiri 88 (やや) 15:14, 12 November 2016 (UTC)
Hijiri88, you are a very thoughtful and informed editor. Thank you for your contributions to Wiki. Isambard Kingdom (talk) 15:33, 12 November 2016 (UTC)

Relevance of a detailed history of AD in this article.[edit]

I removed material from the lead that gave theories about the derivation of the AD system since it is irrelevant to this article. CE takes the 'de facto' values presented by AD as a given, it has no interest in theoretical arguments about whether AD is well-founded or not. Such discussion may be appropriate in the AD article, it is just noise here. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 18:12, 12 January 2017 (UTC)


The guidelines source for this make it clear that B.P. Should not be converted when used (as in fact is its normal use) for radio metric dating. We already have enough editors who haven't a clue about this, I don't want to add to them, so this need an addendum. Doug Weller talk 06:21, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

I have added to the footnote to explain the Society for Historical Archaeology (SHA) reserves "years B.P." for radiocarbon ages; they specifically state "Radiocarbon age determinations are not dates...The radiocarbon age is to be presented as years B.P. and not converted to calendric years B.C./A.D." The motivation for using B.P. as they do is quite clear; their motivation for preferring AD/BC over CE/BCE is not stated.
In section D 4 the SHA states

4. Eras
B.C. follows dates (2000 B.C.); A.D. precedes dates (A.D. 2000). There is no year 0. Do not use C.E. (common era), B.P. (before present), or B.C.E.; convert these expressions to A.D. and B.C. (See below for use of B.P. in radiometric ages.) Abbreviate circa as ca. (ca. 1650).

I infer they consider it possible that others might use B.P. in connection with calendar dates rather than radiometric ages, and insist such dates be converted. Jc3s5h (talk) 16:44, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Proper attribution of sources[edit]

@Jc3s5h: Re: this comment you left on my talkpage about this edit: In my version, the passage that was taken from the source was in quotation marks and appropriate attribution was given directly following the quotation: "...which distinguishes eras as AD (anno Domini, "in the year of the Lord")[6]..." (my emphasis added to relevant portion in bold). The source, Merriam-Webster, says:

Origin and Etymology of ANNO DOMINI

Medieval Latin, in the year of the Lord

First Known Use: 1512

Your edit translates the Latin as "[the] year of [the] Lord", which introduces brackets that don't appear in the cited source (or any other source that I've come across) and are unnecessarily distracting, taking away from the lead's readability. PermStrump(talk) 03:19, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Sorry, when I looked earlier I didn't see that phrase, but now I do. Jc3s5h (talk) 06:38, 17 March 2017 (UTC)
A case of wp:verifiability not truth, since Anno Domini has no "in" and Latin does not have a definite article. The literal translation is "Year of Lord". But the citation trumps all. --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 17:41, 17 March 2017 (UTC)

Dispute over unimportant stuff[edit]

AD/BC is already commonly used and almost none any english speakers is unaware of these two term. Switching to BCE/CE is just plain inefficient, a movement which is clearly started by those who feels annoyed because of the root of BC/AD. Please don't do this, we have far more important stuffs to do, this is not cool. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 3 May 2017 (UTC)

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(Before) the Christian Era?[edit]

Currently BCE\CE is defined as (Before the) Current or Common Era. Why is the (Before) the Christian Era definition not referenced? Seems like a curious oversight. Yes I'm aware AD is mentioned, but that is derived from the Latin term. Not sure if an amendment or an explanation is needed. 人族 (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 12:45, 10 September 2017 (UTC)

Seems the purpose (in part) was/is to avoid the appearance of promoting any specific religion. Vsmith (talk) 14:09, 10 September 2017 (UTC)
I believe this discussion has come up before, in fact earlier revisions of this article did mention "Christian Era", but a cabal of users decided it was somehow not notable or too closely affiliated with Anno Domini rather than "Common Era", so it was removed. Despite the fact that a copious amount of sources refer to "Christian Era" in tandem with the acronym "CE". So I'd certainly be in favor of re-adding it, I don't see a reason not to other than the subjective opinions of some who seem to believe that referencing the phrase "Christian" era somehow taints the supposed secular purpose of CE. — Crumpled Fire contribs 19:02, 12 September 2017 (UTC)
In these two edits 2a02:c7f:8634:8100:a419:fbec:fbb2:1ed added the term "Christian Era" to the lead. I reverted the edit because I feel it was premature; this discussion has not reached a consensus.
As for the substance of the discussion, I feel Crumpled Fire's claim that there are 'a copious amount of sources refer to "Christian Era" in tandem with the acronym "CE"' I'd like to see that list. When I've searched, I've found many sources that use "Christian Era" alone, in conjunction with "AD", or "Christian Era" just means the period of time that the Christian religion has existed, without specifically meaning the year numbering system that labels the year that Apollo 11 landed on the moon as 1969. There are so many such sources that I've been unable to weed out all the sources that are off-point and find reliable sources that actually say "CE" can stand for "Christian Era". User:Jc3s5h (talk) 12:47, 14 September 2017‎
I agree with Jc3s5h. There is no reasonable basis to assert that "a cabal of users has conspired to exclude any mention of Christianity" (or words to that effect). I believe that frequent editors are entirely neutral on the subject. As is the case for all of Wikipedia, if a statement can be supported by a wp:notable source, then of course it should be and will be included. But the problem here, as Jc3s5h says, is that we haven't got a citation for Christian Era as a dating system. Has anyone ever written (for example) "2017 CE" and then gone on to explain that they meant "2017 Christian Era" rather than "2017 Common Era"? --John Maynard Friedman (talk) 18:20, 30 September 2017 (UTC)