Doug Ewell dewell at
Wed Apr 19 23:46:44 CEST 2006

John Cowan <cowan at ccil dot org> replied to Michael Everson:

>>> If GB is considered to still include the islands, then no comment is 
>>> needed.
>> GB oughtn't to have included them in the first place, I believe.
> In my view, it never did.  The meaning of the ISO 3166 codes is 
> dependent on the UNSD codes, and the codes for the United Kingdom 
> (826), the Channel Islands collectively (830), Guernsey (831), Jersey 
> (832), and Man (833) have been separate for quite a while.

But the recent change to ISO 3166 does delete the following "Remarks" 
field from the code element GB:

"Includes the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man"


So even if the Channel Islands and IOM are not politically part of the 
UK, and UNSD did not code them as such, apparently ISO 3166 did. 
Therefore, for our purposes -- since 2-letter region subtags come from 
ISO 3166-1 -- there is a change.

> (Doug probably knows how long.)

I don't offhand, but *might* be able to look it up if I can dig up past 

> The 3166/MA action just rectifies the anomaly whereby places with UNSD 
> codes did not have 3166 codes.

But the anomaly did exist, and it's not inconceivable that someone took 
advantage of it in an RFC 1766 or 3066 language tag.

All of this, of course, begs the practical question of what language(s) 
is (are) used differently in GG or JE or IM as compared to GB.  We've 
talked about "fr-GG" for Dgèrnésiais and "fr-JE" for Jèrriais, although 
Lee Gillam, at least, thought "roa" might be a better language subtag. 
These would obviously be different from whatever "fr-GB" might mean. 
Other than that, however, there may be less to this controversy than 
meets the eye.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA

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