Wednesday, November 23, 2005


There's a strange debate that's been starting up on between the Uncredible Halq and Pooflingers Anonymous. Over AD vs CE. As in 1968 AD or 1968 CE.
Okay it's not a heated debate; more of a divergence of opinions. But it places the Halq on the same side as The Blue Site over the debate. And oddly it places me on the same side as a reality-dismissing paranoid on the issue.
Now, keep in mind, I studied history and see the BC/AD thing as a bit of an artifact, but one that I don't really see the need to get rid of. I've never had any use for BCE/CE. For a couple of reasons. More on that in a minute.
The Blue Sites point is the usual rant that any attempt to neutralize exclusive language or use some construction that is a bit more inclusive is an attack on Christianity. (apparently this is brought about as a reaction to this list at the Language Monitor) The post then sort of devolves into the usual What-About-Our-Religion and the 10-Commandments-is-the-source-of-it-all the FoundingFatherswereallgoodevangelicalChristianswhowantedustobeagoodChristiannation and nomorepoliticalcorrectness kind of a rant that more or less. The sort of thing that makes my eyes glaze over.
Pooflingers makes the point that "Neutrality when possible is a valuable commodity." and folks shouldn't get all afire over little things like this. CE is meant to be inclusive, to allow other to not have Christianity shoved at them. Another very good point made is that this insistence on overt and public acknowlegment of Christian heritage could be very easily seen as an attack on Jewish and other groups.
Makes you wonder when Bill O'Reilly is going to bang on about the war on Hanukkah, doesn't it?
Halq makes the point that re-naming AD to CE will open the door for Christians to demand renaming the days of the week to remove references to pagan gods.
I guess I side with Halq and (gulp) Blue State. My preference is to stick with BC/AD and the pagan gods.
First, these sorts of thing are artifacts of history and I have a lot of respect for history. So much of language and culture is debris that floats to the surface and to me that's fascinating stuff.
Second, I'm just more used to it.
Third, I don't know that I see how inclusive or neutral CE. Using AD does point out that our calendar is one of those artifacts of an earlier, more religious time. But CE (for Common Era) leaves me wondering why a time 2005 and 11/12 years ago just happens to be the time when there started an era we could all agree was common? What happened then that made us all in it together? Hmmm. Indeed, it's likely to be a slightly more passive-agressive attack than plain old AD because of that. (Sure we all had calendars, but now we have a starting point for a new era of good that we can all be brought in on. Jesus? Year 1? Hunh, look at that. Hadn't noticed. Doesn't mean anything, really)
So somehow I've ended up agreeing with Blue State on the AD thing.

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