Lang Gérard gerard.lang at
Thu Sep 25 08:31:53 CEST 2008

Because we are tagging (almost) only with the letters of the Latin script, it is a complete illusion to think to encourage only "non-mnemonic" registration:
1-It would be a complete reversion of the past politic (even if some will try to deny this, it is sufficient to inspect the stock to be sure of this; maybe it is not written in the rules, but it was done so); and why would the future tagged languages not have the benefice of a "mnemonic" registration ?
2-Almost every string of Latin letters has or will have connotations with cultural, geographical, historical or political facts or ideas. So, the better is to choose a string whose most evident connotations are really intended, like a mnemonic link with some version of the name of the tagged language.
3-If you want a non-mnemonic, non-significant tagging, then use numeric-tagging. And the other advantage is that, much more that Latin script, numeric arab digital script is almost universal !
 4- In fact, even digital script can also have undesired connotations if you let them have partial significance..
For example, the social security identifier in France is a numeric-13 number, the fisrt one being 1 for men and 2 for wemen. Andd wemen organizations have protested because 1 is before 2. So, I proposed to choose a digitalization only using bits (0/1), so that the fist digit could be 0 for wemen and 1 for men, and so we have 0 before 1 in the natural order, but this was not accepted.
 But this choice that can give non-mnemonic, non-significant strings has a price: the strings are far longer with an "alphabet" having only 2 characters that with one having 10 characters or one having (more that) 26 characters.
Gérard LANG

-----Message d'origine-----
De : ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] De la part de Peter Constable
Envoyé : jeudi 25 septembre 2008 02:20
À : ietf-languages at
Objet : RE: Pinyin

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Randy Presuhn

> A large percentage of the traffic on this list seems to be a direct 
> result of folks reading too much into the mnemonic value of subtags.


> Perhaps 4646-bis should encourage only non-mnemonic registrations, to 
> avoid repeated waste of time.  But that would be a discussion for 
> ltru at, not here, and it's really too late to be opening up 
> that kind of discussion anyway.

Even if not spec'd in BCP 47, this kind of thing is also something that this list could adopt as informal policy -- assuming a consensus can be formed and maintained.

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