August 13, 2008 By Peter

Lately, you might haved noticed a new way of distinguishing AD and BC dates. A so-called innovation now separates years before and after the zero mark with CE and BCE. Another one of those innovations for innovation’s sake. Or a good reason to call out, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

The new way is supposed to be more globally and politically correct, I guess. Instead of abbreviating the Latin for “in the year of Our Lord,” some writers have gone to CE for the Common Era, Current Era, or Christian Era. Not much better politically, are they? BC, “Before Christ,” becomes BCE, “Before the Common Era,” etc.

I could simply mark my complaint and leave it at that, but instead, I’ll propose a solution I’ve used for years on my Creativity Timeline.

All years after zero stay just as they are. 2008
All years before zero are written as negative numbers. -475

The advantages should be obvious. Yet I’m willing to consider something better. And to put my money where my mouth is, I’ll use positive and negative number years in this blog.

Peter Lloyd writes Right Brain Workouts for IdeaConnection.

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