William Overington WOverington at ngo.globalnet.co.uk
Sun Jun 15 12:02:34 CEST 2003

>It seems that the OED is *not* the definitive reference of British English;
if it was then there would be no reason for the separate entry.
Furthermore, OED English deviates substantially from modern British English;
in some respects American or Canadian English is closer.

As I understand it, there is no definitive reference to English at all.  I
seem to remember reading in The Oxford English Dictionary that the
dictionary simply records usage by people and is not setting out to say what
should and should not be done.  Nevertheless many people do freely choose to
regard the Oxford English Dictionary as the authoritative reference.  There
are various phrases in use.  I have heard of Standard English, BBC English
and Received Standard English.  The Oxford English Dictionary is not the
only dictionary produced in England.

>If we take the position that the OED defines an ideal form of the English
language, separate from different national dialects, then I consider it
wrong to label it as GB.

I agree in that if the tag encoding system can encode it without a country
designation then it would be a good idea to encode it without a country

> Perhaps en-UN-oed or en-INT-oed or en--oed (I'm not sure if there's an
approved "international" country code).

I think that en-INT-oed would be nice.  I would like to mention that it
would be helpful if the definition extended not only to the Oxford English
Dictionary itself but also to works published by the Oxford University Press
in relation to typography as well, such as Hart's guide for compositors and
also the book on the setting of mathematics and any other similar books from
the Oxford University Press.

The large multivolume version of the Oxford English Dictionary is widely
available in public libraries and is a convenient reference.

Michael Everson was the initiator of the suggestion for en-GB-oxford and so
I feel that it is only correct that, should there be a general agreement for
en-INT-oed to become the registered tag, Michael be asked for his opinion on
the matter before his suggestion is changed.  However, if Michael were to
agree that the motion should be changed to become for en-INT-oed to be
registered, then that motion would be something for which I would vote.

William Overington

15 June 2003

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