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the Western one) without having to have some special knowledge about what "anno domini" means or who Christ is.Wikipedia also mentions an issue with the Julian Calendar and the Gregorian Calendar historically both using AD/BC, leading to some confusion as to which calendar system is being referred to: The terms "Common Era", "Anno Domini", "Before the Common Era" and "Before Christ" can be applied to dates that rely on either the Julian calendar or the Gregorian calendar.For decades, it has been the unofficial global standard, adopted in the pragmatic interests of international communication, transportation, and commercial integration, and recognized by international institutions such as the United Nations.However, BC is placed after the year number (for example: AD 2017, but 68 BC), which also preserves syntactic order.
I had understood BCE to mean "Before the Common Era" and CE as "Common Era", which was successful in removing Christianity from the year naming system.
It's just as good as the Nth year of reign of Pharaoh Whoever - doesn't require you to believe in the deity of a particular egyptian Whereas making it "common era" implies that it's the correct one and all the others are wrong.
Archaeologists also use BP - before present - which is confusingly set as 1950.
However, this would mean that the approximate 33 years commonly associated with the life of Jesus would not be included in either of the BC and the AD time scales.
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).
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I switched to BCE/CE before I was even aware of the political correctness issue: I had previously found the whole BC/AD confusing, so when I happened upon the new abbreviations in a scholarly source and then looked them up, to me, it made a lot more sense for stylistic reasons.