Posted On: Wednesday - May 22nd 2019 8:09PM MST
In Topics:   Political Correctness  Curmudgeonry  Books
(Now, he's said to have been built ~ 2,500 BCE, by People's of Color?)
I am amazed that I have not made a post on this particular bit of political correctness (or historical revisionism*) as of yet in 2 1/2 years! At the same time, as I will point out tomorrow, I'd forgotten that I had already wrote a post on one subject that I promised was upcoming, so ... it's a wash, right?
Today's bit of curmudgeonry involves the politically-correct use of "BCE" for "BC" and "CE" for "AD". The point is obviously to get religious references out of history as much as possible. The dating system we've been using for quite some time, I'd guess, what? 2,019 years or so**, is based on the birth of Jesus Christ. The "BC" stood for, from what I was told "Before Christ", and though the colloquial meaning of "AD" was said to be "After Death" (of Christ, but then what about that 30-odd years of his lifetime, right?), in the correct Latin was "Anno Domini" with a meaning that we used to read all the time on legal documents and such: "In the Year of Our Lord". Doesn't that bring back memories?
Now the deal for labeling years in history is the use of "BCE" (for Before Current Era) instead of "BC" and "CE" (for Current Era.) instead of "AD". What exactly is this "Current Era" about, anyway? This is some not just some anti-religious, but some really stupid, terminology here. Why the change was made is not some crackpot theory by Peak Stupidity, as even Wikipedia, not known to be let too far off the reservation, says:
Terminology that is viewed by some as being more neutral and inclusive of non-Christian people is to call this the Current or Common Era (abbreviated as CE), with the preceding years referred to as Before the Common or Current Era (BCE). Astronomical year numbering and ISO 8601 avoid words or abbreviations related to Christianity, but use the same numbers for AD years.Hey, Christian people made this calendar, so we really ought to respect them, and not offend their memory so much perhaps, by sticking to the terms they devised.
Anyway, it's been at least 10 years, just going by the age of a few library books that I've already marked up with an ink pen, but the two new and unimproved terms that are benchmarks for dates in the millennia-range have been really pissing me off. I'm kind of glad that not everyone has already gotten with the program of using "BCE" and "CE" instead of "BC" and "AD", as far as I've read. However, for the folks that do though, well, on the web, I can just BACK the browser up, getting the hell off the site, but for books I really have to do something about it. That is, if I have a reason to think that this is possibly the only PC stupidity in them, or else, yeah, back to the library unread.
I'm not kidding - I've been using and ink pen to fix these errors in books that I still end up interested in reading, after I see this crap. I'd rather not have to keep the pen in my hand, so I try to get ahead by a chapter or so, just to make it more pleasant after that. See, "BCE" is EASY. It turns into BC
I could understand if there were a system that would take out the craziness inherent in our historical calendar, with the BC or BCE part, either way. One has to think backwards with those dates. "So and so lived from 414 BC to 368 BC, so he died when he was ... wait... it's history. I was led to believe there would be no math ....". Yeah, of course they had their own calendars, such as they were, back then, that went forward. We are stuck with this, I suppose, as, come to think about it, increasing knowledge of history does move backwards.
* In this case, it's not a revision of dates of event, but a revision of the meaning of just the 2 terms in the dating system itself.
** No, you'd think, but "you'd" be wrong. Wikipedia says " ...was devised in 525 by Dionysius Exiguus" (more details there for those interested).