David Crystal's red alert

Doug Ewell dewell at adelphia.net
Sun Nov 20 21:49:51 CET 2005

JFC (Jefsey) Morfin <jefsey at jefsey dot com> wrote:

> Your own remark on "Guam" shows that you are not happy with the
> obligation to only respect RFC 3066.

I said no such thing.  You lie again.  I said that some language-region 
combinations are preposterous from the standpoint of identifying 
language variants.  I never said I was "not happy" with that situation. 
Any other mechanism would have its own disadvantages.

> My position only goes a step
> further in term of security: I have no objection to _also_ support
> RFC 3066, I have no objection to even set-it up as a _default_. I
> have a very deep ethic concern at making it _exclusive_. This leads
> this group to twist reality and spoil a great and good job to _only_
> match it. I have a practical deep problem in having no way to
> non-conflictingly match other needs in term of modes, tones, styles,
> mediums, dates, sociolinguistic or trade entities, etc. etc.

Of course there is a way to do this.  Write up your own specification 
and follow it.  We've been saying this for a year now.

> In this I share the "red alert". What happened in Tunis, for example,
> just after the UNESCO GA where the mood was different, gives me the
> bitter feeling of a Monroe split - in addition to the perfectly
> understandable and acceptable technical, political, economical and
> societal positions of the various sides.
> The "red alert" is for this group to make sure that its work (which
> will greatly extend with RFC 3066 bis if applied) has ethical effects.
> This is the same kind of moral concerns as the people of the Manhattan
> Project had. And I think the impact on the people of the world -
> through their language and cultures - is of the same magnitude.

Maybe someone should write to Professor Crystal and ask what he thinks 
of RFC 3066 and language tagging, instead of putting words in his mouth.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA

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