John Cowan cowan at
Thu Apr 20 17:50:18 CEST 2006

Doug Ewell scripsit:

> >You're correct; that's different from saying that you personally 
> >advocated it.  I'm certainly one of those readers who sees Wikipedia as 
> >accurate much more often than not, and probably would have used "roa" to 
> >tag such content if John Cowan had not steered me away from it.

To clarify: I suggested avoiding roa-{GG,JE} not because they are or are not
correct, but because I think using an ISO 639-2 collective language
code with a country code to represent an individual language or dialect
is a Bad Idea, and not in accordance with 3066bis principles.

Jon Hanna scripsit:

> I think Wikipedia is a good starting point for research, but useless 
> when you want something authoritative (tbh, I think the autoritativeness 
> of Encyclopedia Brittanica is often overstated too).

The study to which Debbie refers in a later message has been widely
debated; personally, I think the fact that it only examined a few
articles invalidates it on its face.

In general, the concept of "authoritative source" makes little sense to me,
except in personal contexts (I'm an authoritative source on what I
had for dinner) and performative ones ("US" is the ISO 3166 code for the
United States of America because 3166/MA says so and they are authoritative).
Otherwise, no one source should be treated as an authority on anything.

Mos Eisley spaceport.  You will never           John Cowan
see a more wretched hive of scum and            cowan at
villainy -- unless you watch the      
Jerry Springer Show.

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