In yesterday's Mail on Sunday, there were two further articles repeating the claim. The headline on Chris Hastings' follow-up said: Government to save Year of our Lord from BBC's 'Common Era'.
'BBC's 'Common Era'' - as if it is something they have invented or they alone use.
There is also a comment piece from former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey. It begins:
Dionysius Exiguus would be dumbfounded at the attempts by the BBC to issue guidelines that amount to ditching the well-known terms in our calendar, BC and AD.
Remember the BBC stated last week:
The BBC has issued no editorial guidance on date systems.
Curiously, Carey then states:
I always try to be fair to those whose views challenge my own, so let us listen to what the guidelines say
Well, it's not being 'fair' if you say something is a guideline when it's not, and it's not being 'fair' if you pretend the BBC hasn't said something it has. If he had listened to what the BBC had said, he wouldn't need to make this assumption:
So why does the BBC wish to challenge and, we assume, discard this ancient usage?
The BBC stated very clearly that on this issue:
the decision rests with the individual editorial and production teams.
Yet Carey says:
I would like to think that the BBC might rethink the guidelines it has sent out to its programme directors
It is also worth noting that the story has, once again, been denied - this time by the BBC's Head of Religion and Ethics, Aaqil Ahmed. On Friday, he wrote:
The story, suggesting we had dropped AD (Anno Domini) and BC (Before Christ), was quite simply wrong. We have issued no editorial guidelines or instructions to suggest that anyone in the BBC should change the terms they use. The BBC, like most people, use BC and AD as standard terminology.
But we recognise that it is possible to use different terminology, and that some people do: that is what is reflected on our Religion website. Even though we told the newspaper this, they ran the story anyway.
Just for the record, for our religion and ethics programming on BBC television and radio we generally use AD and BC. It is a shame that people seeking to make mischief should cast a shadow over the wonderful celebration of our Christian religious heritage that is Songs of Praise.
(Angry Mob has also written about Carey's article, while Five Chinese Crackers has awarded the Mail and Mail on Sunday his 'Tabloid Bullshit of the Month Award' for this story.)