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Old May 2 2012, 02:58 PM   #832
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Re: sf/f TV development news - 2012

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
No, because there was no year zero. That's not how years are counted in the calendar we use.
You're not even listening, are you? I've already stated twice that there was no year 0. Neither was there a year 1, a year 2, a year 3, etc. The Julian calendar was invented in the year we now call 525 CE, and it was only gradually adopted over the subsequent centuries. There's no evidence that even the Catholic Church used it prior to the tenth century. So that kneejerk "No year 0" argument you're regurgitating is based on the completely false and historically ignorant assumption that there was a "year 1." Which there wasn't. There was no year 1 through 524 inclusive. The calendar started in 525 at the very earliest. Which means that if you insist on defining the start of a century by when people started counting years according to our calendar, then the 21st century wouldn't begin until 2525. It's a silly and meaningless standard to insist upon.

The calendar goes from 1BCE to 1CE. Therefore the 1st Century goes from 1CE to 100CE. The 2nd Century goes from 101CE to 200CE.
Only in retrospective discussions by historians centuries later. Nobody who actually lived in that time used those dates. The date you refer to retroactively as 1 CE would've been known at the time as 754 AUC in the Roman calendar, 3761 in the Hebrew calendar, in the Maya calendar, and Year 57 of Cycle 44, Year of the Monkey, in the Chinese calendar. And it was 641 years before what Muslims (who make up nearly a quarter of the world's population) would call "Year 1."

Extrapolating forward, we can see that the 21st century goes from 2001CE to 2101CE. The only reason that people think the 21st century begins in the year 2000 is because they see all those zeros come up like on their car odometer and they don't know any better.
The calendar is an arbitrary invention used to communicate ideas to human beings. It has no intrinsic cosmic reality. As with any form of communication, the "right" usage is the one that conveys information to the most people. Billions of people commemorated the arrival of 2000 as the start of the new millennium; that was real and meaningful to them. The only people who celebrated 2001 as the start of the millennium were a smattering of lonely prescriptivist pedants like you. A couple of decades ago, I was one of those pedants, but then I learned how ignorant I was, and I'm very glad I outgrew it. It's amazing how fanatical some folks get over something this trivial. My post about this subject on my blog was the single most controversial post I've ever made, which is ridiculous because it's such a fundamentally unimportant subject. (In fact, why am I wasting so much time on it?)
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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