John Cowan jcowan at
Mon Mar 7 20:29:35 CET 2005

Peter Constable scripsit:

> This is the whole point behind the debate we had over "es-americas":
> the point wasn't whether there was an identifiable dialect corresponding
> to that tag; rather, the point was that there are scenarios in which
> language resources have a linguistic property that *that* tag reflects
> and that need to be distinguished from other language resources.

Yes, but!

I didn't ask for es-americas (under the current RFC 3066 regime) until I
had an actual, not merely hypothetical, reason for it.  It's one thing to
request a tag because you need it; quite another to request a tag because
someone, somewhere might possibly need it.

> In the Mongolian case, we cannot dictate that nobody should ever have,
> say, a terminology database in which Mongolian terms used in China are
> distinct from Mongolian terms for the same concepts used in Mongolia. 

Of course not.  But asking IANA to register such a thing in advance of
evidence is contrary to the RFC 3066 spirit.  Time enough to register
mn-Mong-CN and mn-Mong-MN when someone actually needs them for particular
information objects.

John Cowan  jcowan at
No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the
continent, a part of the main.  If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a
manor of thy friends or of thine own were: any man's death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for
whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.  --John Donne

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