Pros and cons of adding a en-GB-oxford language tag

Jon Hanna jon at
Fri May 30 12:48:56 CEST 2003

> If en-gb-oxford was added for an orthography, what would
> en-scouse be used for? Dictionaries? Videos?
> Why not en-oxford if en-scouse exists?

Perhaps en-OED would reduce the risk of someone misinterpreting it as a
regional dialect of Oxford or Oxfordshire (though for all I know Oxford's
pride in the work means they all use that orthography), more clearly signify
that this refers to written English, and recognise that the OED is used
outside of Britain (though this removes the opportunity to attempt to
register en-gb-oxford-gownie and en-gb-oxford-townie on April Fools' Day).

My more general concern about any attempt to refer to the OED is that as it
is widely seen as an authority, or even as *the* authority. Hence someone
who considers his or her English to be "correct" may consider en-gb-oxford
to apply all they say and write whether that is accurate or not, "It's just
speakin' proper, in't it?".

In a context in which the language tag reflects rather than constrains what
it is labelling the likelihood of misuse could be high enough to render it
uselessly unreliable at indicating anything.

Still, I like the idea in principle.

> Should there be yet another subtag in place to say that
> "the following subtag after this one relates to orthography", or
> "the following subtag after this one relates to the spoken form of
> the language"?

Interesting idea. One that has the potential to address all of my previously
stated concerns without much violence to the current format.

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