Of all my pet peeves, none is bigger than the hatred I have for the acronyms BCE and CE. The common definition for these acronyms is Before Current Era and Current Era respectively, but neither of those make any sense at all.

First of all, both are just re-branded from BC (before Christ) and AD (anno domini, or in the year of our Lord). However, unlike BCE and CE, BC and AD actually mean something. BC means "years before Jesus was born". (Which, of course is actually a misnomer, because Jesus was born sometime between 6 and 4 BC. But I digress...) AD means something similar - 1 AD means "In the first year of our Lord", or "When Jesus was between birth and his first birthday". (Ignoring, of course, the discrepancy between when he as actually born, and when the old scholars started AD. And the fact that years start on January 1st, but Jesus was most likely born in May.) Basically, someone decided they didn't like the Christocentric nature of date calculation, and decided to change it. Political correctness isn't enough of a reason to change something that's been in place for many hundreds of years.

Secondly, if the world were to adopt the BCE/CE notation, we'd really have to place them somewhere other than at the same place BC and AD. Why? Because saying the "Current Era" started in 1 AD makes no sense at all. From 1 AD to about 300 AD, the Roman Empire was at the height of its power, and afterwards until about 1000 AD, the world was basically in a state of chaos known as the Dark Ages. Then, about 1400 AD, the Renaissance started and much of the knowledge lost when the Roman Empire fell was restored. Then came the Enlightenment (1600's), the Industrial Revolution (1800's), and finally what I call the Technological Era (which could start around 1900 AD, or even as late as the 1940's when the first computers were developed. The Technological era is really the only thing that remotely deserves the "CE" notation, as it is the most current era in human development.

Third, and finally, I'm absolutely astounded that anyone would be pretentious enough to believe they could rebrand Christianity into something secular, but leave all the dates the same. The Christians have done this for centuries, but BCE/CE is an attempt to subvert the global system, and present a more touchy-feely front. This habit of extreme political correctness must stop. There's a saying that many people use that is very appropriate for this situation, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

About the only real argument against using BC and AD is that those dates are incorrect by definition. (The whole born between 6 and 4 BC thing) According to this logic, the re-branding makes sense. It's also possible to argue that BCE and CE are respecting other cultures because not everyone acknowledges Jesus as a prophet/deity/saint, or that he even existed for that matter. However, that's only possible to argue that point if you completely ignore the fact that BCE is identical to BC, and CE is identical to AD. So anyone who wants to use the *E notation is actually attempting to subtly force Christian idea onto other, non-christian cultures. Devious.

Furthermore, saying that *E makes more sense than a system that is by definition incorrect is wholly wrong as well, because the *E dates are just placed at an arbitrary time, with no basis on actual historical events. I could claim, for example, that everything from the fourth Thursday in June of last year is now EoD (Era of Dave) years, and that EoD uses a 12 day/week calculation with years lasting 8.6 weeks. It's ridiculous, I know, but just as valid as BCE and CE. Historical notation must be founded in actual events, or it makes no sense at all.