HELP! - Usage on A.D. and B.C.

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Thunder9
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Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in
B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?

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Don Phillipson
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"Thunder9" <[email protected] > wrote in message
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[q1]> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q1]
[q1]> B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of[/q1]

It is grammatically acceptable but seems extremely rare (not seen by me.) You could write that
Marcus went to Syracuse in 154 BC and stayed there until the year 152: but because this would be
unexpected most people would write 152 BC.

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Colin Freeman
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 11:38:46 GMT for some unknown reason [email protected] (Thunder9)
wrote in :
[q1]>Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q1]
[q1]>B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Thunder9 xx_NOSPAM is antispam[/q1]

No and no.

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Mark Wallace
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Thunder9 wrote:

[q1]> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q1]
[q1]> B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q1]

I can't recall any specific occasions of it being done, and I doubt you would get away with it too
often. You can happily drop the full-points, though. "BC" looks fine, without them.

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Mark Wallace
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Michael J Hardy
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Thunder9 ([email protected]) wrote:

[q1]> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q1]
[q1]> B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q1]

I've seen it done. I think it may be conventional among historians.

Mike Hardy
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Meirman
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In alt.english.usage on Fri, 14 Jun 2002 11:38:46 GMT [email protected]
(Thunder9) posted:

[q1]>Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q1]
[q1]>B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q1]

I haven't seen it (but then, where would I), and I think it would be confusing if the dates were
anywhere near O.

I would switch to BCE anyhow, which doesn't tie to you to a particular theology.

Then, if all the dates were substantially far away from zero, I would put in a statement that all
dates are BCE. How long would a statement like that be effective, not in theory but in people's
minds (which are what counts). A page, 10 pages, 247 pages? Should you allow for people who start
reading in the middle? If the dates are 2235, etc. what are the odds they'd think you meant 200
years from now?

Even if it is 1974, would you be talking about clay pots, or Nixon's resignation?

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Sebastian Hew
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"Michael J Hardy" <[email protected]> wrote in message
news:[email protected]...
[q1]> Thunder9 ([email protected]) wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]> > Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely[/q2]
[q2]> > in B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I've seen it done. I think it may be conventional among historians.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

I've seen it done too, but usually, the fact that all dates are B.C. is mentioned somewhere
in the text.

Sebastian.
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Ann
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:12:04 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:

[q1]>Thunder9 wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q2]
[q2]>> B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>I can't recall any specific occasions of it being done, and I doubt you would get away with it too[/q1]
[q1]>often. You can happily drop the full-points, though. "BC" looks fine, without them.[/q1]

Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line now
in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications, is the use
of open punctuation which means dropping all those full stops and also not using any punctuation in
addresses written at the top of letters or after the salutation etc. They don't seem to have gone
that way in America though.

Ann
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Thunder9
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 07:45:37 -0400, "Don Phillipson" <[email protected]> wrote:

[q1]>"Thunder9" <[email protected] > wrote in message[/q1]
[q1]>news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely in[/q2]
[q2]>> B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>It is grammatically acceptable but seems extremely rare (not seen by me.)[/q1]

Certainly grammatically acceptable, but is it stylistically acceptable? From what people are saying,
I gather that its not, except perhaps in the most limited academic circles.

Thanks, Thuner9

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R H Draney
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In article <[email protected] optusnet.com.au>, "Sebastian says...
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>"Michael J Hardy" <[email protected]> wrote in message[/q1]
[q1]>news:[email protected]...[/q1]
[q2]>> Thunder9 ([email protected]) wrote:[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> > Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely[/q2]
[q2]>> > in B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> I've seen it done. I think it may be conventional among historians.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>I've seen it done too, but usually, the fact that all dates are B.C. is mentioned somewhere in[/q1]
[q1]>the text.[/q1]

Even if you're talking about historical events, it's hard to believe that you can restrict yourself
*entirely* to dates in BC...or even to note as AD the few exceptions you find yourself making...you
might find yourself forced, in the middle of a narrative on dynastic succession in ancient Egypt, to
say something like "as interpreted by Dr Krelman in AD 1937, these inscriptions blah blah blah"....r
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Thunder9
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:02:29 GMT, [email protected] (Ann) wrote:

[q1]>On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:12:04 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>>Thunder9 wrote:[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q3]>>> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely[/q3]
[q3]>>> in B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q3]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>>I can't recall any specific occasions of it being done, and I doubt you would get away with it too[/q2]
[q2]>>often. You can happily drop the full-points, though. "BC" looks fine, without them.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q1]
[q1]>now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications, is the[/q1]
[q1]>use of open punctuation which means dropping all those full stops and also not using any[/q1]
[q1]>punctuation in addresses written at the top of letters or after the salutation etc. They don't seem[/q1]
[q1]>to have gone that way in America though.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Ann[/q1]

Personally I can't stand full stops and don't know why I did so here. (I'm American)

So is it ok to say (ie write) the abbreviations in this sentance without full stops (eg
"ie" and "eg)?

Thunder9

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Mark Wallace
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Ann wrote:
[q1]> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:12:04 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>> Thunder9 wrote:[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q3]>>> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely[/q3]
[q3]>>> in B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q3]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> I can't recall any specific occasions of it being done, and I doubt you would get away with it[/q2]
[q2]>> too often. You can happily drop the full-points, though. "BC" looks fine, without them.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q1]
[q1]> now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications,[/q1]

Ah, that august body (which normally arrives in late September, due to unforseen difficulties in the
packing department). Yes, I often considered taking a secretarial course, as my shorthand and
nail-polishing skills leave something to be desired; but when I applied for one, I failed the
entrance test because I couldn't get quite the right tone of voice, when saying 'luvly!'.

I almost took a QOW shorthand course, but my wife objected so I let it drop. She said she didn't
think the school was suitable. I've never heard any complaints about the Quick One off the Wrist
school from any of my friends who have secretaries trained by them, but I have to abide by my
wife's wishes.

Luckily, I'm very proficient at touch typing. I find I achieve best results by only ever touching
the keys with my forefingers, as this minimises errors.

[q1]> is the use of open punctuation which means dropping all those full stops and also not using any[/q1]
[q1]> punctuation in addresses written at the top of letters or after the salutation etc. They don't[/q1]
[q1]> seem to have gone that way in America though.[/q1]

Yes. The punctuation of addresses goes to the East of the line, and the US is the other direction,
altogether.

But Seriously, Folks,

The drift in the secretarial professions in the UK toward avoiding punctuation points came about
because of the heavy competition between Pitman and Wossname, each of who are eternally looking for
ways to make their results look better than the other's. By adopting the policy of skipping a few
punctuation points, Wossname (I can't, for the life of me, remember what the name of the company is)
found that it could advertise its training as delivering typists who could output 698,000 words per
second, as opposed to Pitman's paltry 697,998 (these are, of course, approximate figures). Pitman
had to respond by insisting that its trainees be taught to skip the dots, and all the smaller
schools had no choice but to follow suit.

It's not the best reason in the world for usage drift -- and I ignore the drift completely (unless
it suits me to follow it) -- but it's the only one we've got, so I suppose we'll have to learn to be
happy with it.

<wanders off, practising> Luvly. Luvly! *Luvly!* *Luv*ly! l*U*vly! Oh, *******s. Pass me a spanner.
I'll do plumbing, instead.

--
Mark Wallace
-----------------------------------------------------
For the intelligent approach to nasty humour, visit: The Anglo-American Humour (humor) Site
http://humorpages.virtualave.net/mainmenu.htm
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Mark Wallace
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Thunder9 wrote:
[q1]> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:02:29 GMT, [email protected] (Ann) wrote:[/q1]
[q2]>> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 16:12:04 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:[/q2]
[q3]>>> Thunder9 wrote:[/q3]
[q3]>>>[/q3]
[q3]>>>> Is it acceptable in written English to drop the use of B.C. if your subject matter is entirely[/q3]
[q3]>>>> in B.C.? Have you ever seen an instance of this?[/q3]
[q3]>>>[/q3]
[q3]>>> I can't recall any specific occasions of it being done, and I doubt you would get away with it[/q3]
[q3]>>> too often. You can happily drop the full-points, though. "BC" looks fine, without them.[/q3]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q2]
[q2]>> now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications, is[/q2]
[q2]>> the use of open punctuation which means dropping all those full stops and also not using any[/q2]
[q2]>> punctuation in addresses written at the top of letters or after the salutation etc. They don't[/q2]
[q2]>> seem to have gone that way in America though.[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> Ann[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Personally I can't stand full stops and don't know why I did so here. (I'm American)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> So is it ok to say (ie write) the abbreviations in this sentance without full stops (eg "ie"[/q1]
[q1]> and "eg)?[/q1]

I find that typing "ie" and "eg" without the points prevents my spellchecker from being a pain.
That's a good enough reason for me.

--
Mark Wallace
-----------------------------------------------------
For the intelligent approach to nasty humour, visit: The Anglo-American Humour (humor) Site
http://humorpages.virtualave.net/mainmenu.htm
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Psi
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"R H Draney" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]... <snip>
[q1]> Even if you're talking about historical events, it's hard to believe that[/q1]
you
[q1]> can restrict yourself *entirely* to dates in BC...or even to note as AD[/q1]
the few
[q1]> exceptions you find yourself making...you might find yourself forced, in[/q1]
the
[q1]> middle of a narrative on dynastic succession in ancient Egypt, to say[/q1]
something
[q1]> like "as interpreted by Dr Krelman in AD 1937, these inscriptions blah[/q1]
blah
[q1]> blah"....r[/q1]

I happen to have my Penguin edition of Thucydides by me, so I checked in there. The 24-page
introduction (by the translator) mentions plenty of dates, but with no BC at all. As far as I can
see the only reference to BC is in the publisher's blurb, in giving Thucydides's's's's dates
(c.460-400 BC).

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Ann
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 20:58:08 GMT, [email protected] (Thunder9) wrote:

[q2]>>Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q2]
[q2]>>now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications, is the[/q2]
[q2]>>use of open punctuation which means dropping all those full stops and also not using any[/q2]
[q2]>>punctuation in addresses written at the top of letters or after the salutation etc. They don't[/q2]
[q2]>>seem to have gone that way in America though.[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>>Ann[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Personally I can't stand full stops and don't know why I did so here. (I'm American)[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>So is it ok to say (ie write) the abbreviations in this sentance without full stops (eg "ie"[/q1]
[q1]>and "eg)?[/q1]

Yes, we do that now too.

Ann
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Ann
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On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 23:10:40 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:

[q2]>> Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q2]
[q2]>> now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications,[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Ah, that august body (which normally arrives in late September, due to unforseen difficulties in[/q1]
[q1]>the packing department). Yes, I often considered taking a secretarial course, as my shorthand and[/q1]
[q1]>nail-polishing skills leave something to be desired; but when I applied for one, I failed the[/q1]
[q1]>entrance test because I couldn't get quite the right tone of voice, when saying 'luvly!'.[/q1]

Just to be picky. It's not only secretaries who do word processing courses. I did one and now work
in admin but I'm nobody's secretary.

I've gone off you Wallace! :-)

Ann
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Cybercypher
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[email protected] (Fester) burbled news:[email protected]:

[q1]> I saw Thunder9 rant about the following:[/q1]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> Personally I can't stand full stops and don't know why I did so here. (I'm American)[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Are you just trying to act British, or do people in your area of the US actually refer to periods[/q1]
[q1]> as full stops? I've never heard an American use that term before.[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]

Americans who often talk to Brits do. Not everyone is provincial.

--
Franke: Grammar 1: Internalized rules for the spoken language. Grammar 2: Formal rules for the
written language. Grammar 1 does not equal Grammar 2.
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Tristan
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On Sat, 15 Jun 2002 07:30:12 +1000, Mark Wallace wrote:

[q1]> Thunder9 wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q2]>> Personally I can't stand full stops and don't know why I did so here. (I'm American)[/q2]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> So is it ok to say (ie write) the abbreviations in this sentance without full stops (eg "ie"[/q2]
[q2]>> and "eg)?[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> I find that typing "ie" and "eg" without the points prevents my spellchecker from being a pain.[/q1]
[q1]> That's a good enough reason for me.[/q1]

The rule I learnt about punctuating abbreviations is that if there are two or more capital letters,
the last letter in the abbreviation is the same as the last letter in the word or it's pronounced as
a word, then you *don't* use a full stop, otherwise, you put one at the end of each word in the
abbreviation.

Thus:

laser (not l.a.s.e.r., Light Amplified by Something-or-othER.) Anzac (not A.N.Z.A.C., Australian and
New Zealand Army Corps) Dr (not Dr., Doctor) St (not St., Street or Saint) BC(E) (not B.C.(E.),
Before Christ or Before the Common Era)[1] AO (not A.O., Order of Australia)
i.e. (not ie. or ie)
i.f. (not eg. or eg)

This method looks like the nicest trade-off between neatness and clearness to me, but that could
easily just be because it's what I'm used to.

[1]: As an aside on this, why are CE and BCE any less Christian-centric than AD and BC? Sure, they
don't mention Christ, but they imply that the common era began two thousand years and two ago.
I don't know about you, but I don't think I have terribly much in common with the ancient Roman
Empire or medieval times, or even, really, the 18th century.

Also, unless I'm wrong, one writes AD 1400 but 1400 BC. Does one, then, right CE 1400 and 1400 BCE
or just 1400 (B)CE?

Tristan.
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Mark Wallace
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Ann wrote:
[q1]> On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 23:10:40 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q3]>>> Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q3]
[q3]>>> now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications,[/q3]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>> Ah, that august body (which normally arrives in late September, due to unforseen difficulties in[/q2]
[q2]>> the packing department). Yes, I often considered taking a secretarial course, as my shorthand and[/q2]
[q2]>> nail-polishing skills leave something to be desired; but when I applied for one, I failed the[/q2]
[q2]>> entrance test because I couldn't get quite the right tone of voice, when saying 'luvly!'.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]> Just to be picky. It's not only secretaries who do word processing courses. I did one and now work[/q1]
[q1]> in admin but I'm nobody's secretary.[/q1]

Damned straight! You stand up for your rights! Don't let the bloody male-oriented society
grind you down!

Milk and no sugar, thanks.

[q1]> I've gone off you Wallace! :-)[/q1]

Really? I can't imagine why.

--
Mark Wallace
____________________________

You want nanomachines? I'll give you bloody nanomachines!
http://humorpages.virtualave.net/m-pages/nmaj.htm
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Meirman
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In alt.english.usage on Sat, 15 Jun 2002 09:45:55 GMT [email protected] (Ann) posted:

[q1]>On Fri, 14 Jun 2002 23:10:40 +0200, "Mark Wallace" <[email protected]> wrote:[/q1]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q3]>>> Full stops all over the place is an American thing. I've done this one before. The official line[/q3]
[q3]>>> now in Britain, ie the one accepted by the bodies who award word processing qualifications,[/q3]
[q2]>>[/q2]
[q2]>>Ah, that august body (which normally arrives in late September, due to unforseen difficulties in[/q2]
[q2]>>the packing department). Yes, I often considered taking a secretarial course, as my shorthand and[/q2]
[q2]>>nail-polishing skills leave something to be desired; but when I applied for one, I failed the[/q2]
[q2]>>entrance test because I couldn't get quite the right tone of voice, when saying 'luvly!'.[/q2]
[q1]>[/q1]
[q1]>Just to be picky. It's not only secretaries who do word processing courses. I did one and now work[/q1]
[q1]>in admin but I'm nobody's secretary.[/q1]

I used to work for nobody too. I'll admit he wasn't in my face all the time, didn't even complain
when I came late, but the pay was terrible.

[q1]>I've gone off you Wallace! :-)[/q1]


>Ann

s/ meirman If you are emailing me please say if you are posting the same response.

Born west of Pittsburgh Pa. 10 years Indianapolis, 7 years Chicago, 6 years Brooklyn NY 12 years
Baltimore 17 years
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