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

Peter_Constable at Peter_Constable at
Fri May 30 08:41:55 CEST 2003

John Clews wrote on 05/30/2003 03:38:05 AM:

> It's proposed for dealing with written English text. Even though the
> tag may exist, it doesn't follow that the spelling software for OED
> English is available to a user.

What spelling software do you know of for uz-cyrl? Spelling software isn't
a prerequisite.

> Why not en-oxford...

> Why is the -gb part significant if "Oxford English Dictionary" if
> OED English has such widespread international use?

en-oxford (or en-OED) might designate OED spelling without comment on
vocab-dialect variation; en-GB-OED might designate GB vocab with OED

> 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"?

I don't think that's necessary.

> Again, I also associate the consistent use of "-ization" together
> with "colour" etc with publications of the organizations of the
> United Nations family of organizations.
> Their style source may or may not be the OED, I don't know.
> Perhaps a subtag different to -oxford (or to -oed) may be useful.

You could make it -zn2o9 if you want; what is essential is that it is
defined, it is stable, and it's denotation is clearly documented. Of
course, it also helps if it's mnemonic, and for that -OED does very well --
*provided* 100 years from now spelling conventions used in the Oxford
English Dictionary haven't changed! :-)

> [In passing, should the de-de-1901 tags etc have included a subtag
> -duden-1901?

That would have been possible, but I believe it was implicitly considered

> Should -larousse be introduced as a subtag for any
> more detailed specifications for French that might be proposed i the
> future?]

I don't know if the need is real, but it's certainly in the realm of
possibility. (BTW, I thought Robert was the French equivalent to the OED;
isn't it?)

> Most language tags are for use in browsers

The tags provided by the terms of RFC3066 are used in all kinds of
situations, more than just browsers and HTML. Consider a text archive using
an XML-based markup language, with a large corpus of English texts used for
text-linguistic research. It's easy to imagine the researchers caring about
spelling conventions and wanting to identify those documents that *do*
conform to OED spelling. Or, I can imagine a localization team dealing with
different English markets needing to clearly indicate content that is known
to conform to OED spelling. (I don't know if either of these represent
actual needs; I'm not the one requesting this tag. I'm just discussing
principles.) These would represent valid needs for the requested tag, and
don't necessarily have anything to do with HTML and browsers.

> My feeling is that en-gb-oxford is not a thing for language tags at
> present, and that this request may (though put forward with the best
> of intentions) be asking for language tag mechanisms to do too much.

If some group of users have a need, I think this is very much an
appropriate use for RFC3066 tags.

- 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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