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When I was a kid, I was always taught to refer to years using BC (Before Christ) and AD (Anno Domini / year of our Lord). That is, BC is usually understood to mean "Before the Common Era" and CE to mean "Common Era," though it is possible to reinterpret the abbreviations as "Christian Era." The simplest reason for using BCE/CE as opposed to AD/BC is to avoid reference to Christianity and, in particular, to avoid naming Christ as Lord (BC/AD: Before Christ/In the year of our Lord). Marking it as the "Christian Era" (or more commonly, the "Common Era") allows the same epoch to be used even though the best calculation for Jesus's birth has changed.

However, I somewhat regularly hear people referring to years as in the CE (Common Era) or BCE (Before the Common Era). Wikipedia, Anno Domini article: , but a few years earlier (i.e., in the somewhat ironic 3–4 B. While Christians make up a very large chunk of the world's population, they are no where near the majority.

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The Julian calendar was a system of fixing the number of days in each month. The most popular system was the AUC system used throughout the Roman Empire. I agree that regnal years was probably the most common type of system but AUC was much more widely used.

Anyway, you don't need to worry, BC/AD has not lost at all to the metric system or Kwanzaa, it is still very much what is used and recognized (but I haven't looked at any high school history books lately).

Note that the labeling BC/AD was introduced in the 6th century....

Astronomers of course have the best solution - just count days.

While this issue always seems to get mired in arguments about political correctness, I'd offer another perspective.

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