The ISO 3166 code CS

John Cowan jcowan at
Tue Aug 5 13:17:46 CEST 2003

Addison Phillips [wM] scripsit:

> The implication is that 'cz-CS' (an old code) and 'sr-CS' (a new code) 
> apply to different countries. As a result, implementations that parse 
> the language and country apart for reference purposes have to apply 
> special rules to each of the values cited: the code means something else 
> depending on the context in which you are viewing it. 

This is already true.  For example, en-us entails a certain orthography,
whereas es-us (equally legitimate) does not.

> Does "en-CS" mean "English for Serbia and Montenegro" or "English for 
> Czechoslovakia"?

Neither of these tags, fortunately, is of practical significance as a language
tag.  (They may perhaps have some use as locales, but that's out of scope

We can survive this change.  We may not be able to survive the next one.

Do NOT stray from the path!             John Cowan <jcowan at>

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