Scottish English

Mark Crispin mrc at CAC.Washington.EDU
Thu Oct 20 18:37:50 CEST 2005

On Thu, 20 Oct 2005, John Cowan wrote:
> Currently there is no country code for Scotland other than GB.
> If you wish this changed (and I'm certainly not against it), talk to BSI,
> as they are the *only* authority that can do anything about it (by requesting
> codes from UNSD, who then passes them to ISO 3166/MA).

I wish that I understood what a "country" was in the minds of 
BSI/UNSD/ISO.  My layman's interpretation of a "country" (an independent 
nation) is clearly not what they use, as recent examples demonstrate.

Given these examples, I don't understand why "continental US" isn't a 
country; nor do I understand why each of the original thirteen colonies, 
Texas, and Hawaii aren't countries; nor why Tibet, Kurdistan, Basque, 
Chechnya, Okinawa, Normandy, etc. aren't countries; etc. ad nauseum.

The best answer that I can determine is "it doesn't have to make sense, 
it's political."

I wonder if this means that sooner or later, language tags should strike 
out independently and create their own registry of geographic/regional 
tags that are independent of contemporary political considerations?

Mind you; this isn't a serious proposal for the short term.  I'm just 
thinking out loud.  The obvious flaw in the idea is the presumption that, 
somehow, we could do a better job.  The UN recently suffered severe 
credibility problems due to corruption and the corrupting nature of 
politics; it's hubris to believe that any of us are somehow immune.

Nonetheless, if you were to do it differently, how would you do it?

-- Mark --
Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what to eat for lunch.
Liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the vote.

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