Peter_Constable at sil.org Peter_Constable at sil.org
Sun Jun 15 11:12:53 CEST 2003

Tex Texin wrote on 06/15/2003 02:53:30 AM:

> I am a little ignorant here, so perhaps someone will enlighten me.
> I'll have to go to a library and look at an OED, but in the interim,I 
went to
> their web site. The OED claims to represent English from all over the 

> So I am not sure where the "GB" applies. This seems to be the English 
> equivalent of es-americas.

es-americas was a little different since it implied constraints on Spanish 
particularly in relation to vocabulary.

> So I am a little confused by the references to gb, au, us versions or
> en-xx-oed and wonder why OED isn't simply considered a reference for
> validating whether text is "en" rather than being proposed as a more 
> variant.

I think we do need to revisit what the original intent was before going 
further. I'll copy the original request here:


Name of requester          : Michael Everson
E-mail address of requester: everson at evertype.com
Tag to be registered       : en-GB-oxford

English name of language   : English, Oxford orthography

Native name of language (transcribed into ASCII): English, Oxford 

Reference to published description of the language (book or article):

Although it is widely believed that en-US and en-GB differ in that 
the former spells "color" and "civilize" and the latter spells 
"colour" and "civilise", in fact this is not entirely the case. 
Oxford spelling prefers the spellings "colour" and "civilize". Oxford 
prefers -ize because this is the etymological spelling (from Greek 

"The form -ize has been in use in English since the 16th century; 
although it is widely used in American English, it is not an 
Americanism. The alternative spelling -ise (reflecting a French 
influence) is in common use, especially in British English."


Pearsall, Judy, ed. 2001. The New Oxford Dictionary of English. 
Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-860441-6

I think there has been consensus to use OED rather than Oxford; 
accordingly, it would probably make sense that the English name be 
"English, OED orthography". Also, I think it would be better to refer to 
spelling instead of orthography, so "English, OED spelling". And since the 
spelling conventions are not limited to GB english, we'd probably want 

If we felt the spelling conventions could be applied to regional dialects 
(with vocab differences), we might want to consider registering some other 
tags as well: en-GB-oed, en-CA-oed, en-AU-OED, etc.; perhaps even 
en-US-oed (recall the German tags include de-1901, de-DE-1901, de-CH-1901, 

The question I have, though, is whether the reference provided actually 
defines (even ostensivly) the intended spelling conventions. For instance, 
Michael told us that this publication has "colorize" as the citation form 
rather than "colourize". This creates ambiguity: is the en-oed spelling 
"colorize" or "colourize"?

> As an aside it would be nice if there was a directory with the 
> that are under consideration somewhere.
> Similar to the directory for the approved registrations.

Not a bad idea.

- 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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