[Ltru] Tagging of silent films

John.Cowan jcowan at reutershealth.com
Wed Sep 28 16:09:56 CEST 2005

Marion Gunn scripsit:

> > The 'und' tag does not mean "no linguistic content" or anything like it.
> > It means quite specifically "I have no clue".
> No, John - more properly, it generally means 'there are clues a-plenty,
> but you/the machine cannot determine, on the basis of its current
> knowhow, the language(s) to which those clues are pointers'. 

That is the usual meaning of the idiom "to have no clue" in the American
variety of the English language: it means not "to possess no clue" but
"to recognize nothing as a clue" -- or in a more extended sense "to be
naive, uninformed, or foolish"; obviously the latter was not in my mind.

> Personally, I'd be all for deprecating the tag 'und' and replacing it
> with 'xxx' (a shorthand combination widely recognised across this planet
> as indicating 'unknown/blank/yet to be filled in').

I have used the forms "xx", "xxx" and "yy" informally to mean "any
ISO 639-1 code", "any ISO 639-2 code", and "any ISO 3166-1 code" when
discussing the formats of RFC 3066 tags.

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