Doug Ewell dewell at adelphia.net
Mon Jun 16 23:45:50 CEST 2003

Michael Everson <everson at evertype dot com> wrote:

>> I think his question is whether, if OED practice changes, en-gb-oed
>> will change with it, or will remain stabilized at its historic value.
> That begs an awful lot of questions. Norwegian spelling reforms
> happen quite regularly.

All languages change, though very very slowly.  I imagine "en" would
always refer to the "current" flavor of English, and older versions
(from which the current version is deemed to have drifted away) would
have a "-1901" type subtag retrofitted onto them.

Same thing for the OED.  If the OED changes to a different set of
spelling conventions from those that the proposed tag are intended to
capture, and both the old OED and new OED conventions are considered
worthy of a code, then the distinction can be caught in "-1901" type
subtags.  The time to worry about exactly how to draw the distinction
should be then, not now.  Right now it's a distraction from the main

> So. en-GB-oxed? en-GB-oxon? en-GB-oxfd? en-GB-oed?
> en-GB-oxfordspelling?

I still like -oed.  To me -oxon and -oxfd still refer to a physical
place, which in my mind is not what the proposed tag was all about.  If
we decide to make something out of the "four characters = script or
orthography" coincidence, that might constrain our choices a bit.  If
the subtag must be four letters, we could do worse than -oxed.

The -gb- part is starting to bother me, though.  How Oxford spelling
(en-gb-oed_or_whatever) could be considered more tightly bound to GB
than Scouse (en-scouse; note no -gb-) escapes me.

-Doug Ewell
 Fullerton, California

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