Peter_Constable at sil.org Peter_Constable at sil.org
Sun Jun 15 22:33:35 CEST 2003

Tex Texin wrote on 06/15/2003 05:42:29 PM:

> I am a little surprised, since I thought tags were supposed to identify
> existing practices, not be the first step in defining a practice 
> that spell-checkers can follow. Isn't that the argument by which 
> died (or is dieing)?

The way I understand it, es-americas was blocked *in spite of* existing 

> (Btw I am not grinding an axe with es-americas or trying to make a point 
> it. But I think the points from that discussion are relevant here.)

I think the issues are kind of different. es-americas was really intended 
to identify a variety of spanish language usage that isn't the natural 
variety of any sub-community of Spanish speakers (but it is acceptable to 
multiple sub-communities since it is a least common denominator -- so to 
speak -- of their varieties). en-OED, on the other hand, isn't defining a 
particular variety; it's intended to identify a particular spelling 
convention for English. 

The former hasn't been accepted since there has been too much doubt that 
such a variety exists (in any sense of that word). The latter, however, 
certainly exists (though as Mark has pointed out, some aspects of its 
definition -- e.g. c vs. s -- still need to be clarified). Whether we can 
point to examples of it's usage is another question, of course, as is how 
useful the tag en-oed would be in practice.


> Also, what happens if OED changes its preferrences over time and as the
> language evolves?

The denotation of the tag shouldn't be subject to such changes, I think.

- Peter

Peter Constable

Non-Roman Script Initiative, SIL International
7500 W. Camp Wisdom Rd., Dallas, TX 75236, USA
Tel: +1 972 708 7485

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