Request for variant subtag fr 16th-c 17th-c

Don Osborn dzo at
Wed Dec 13 17:03:08 CET 2006

On Wednesday, December 13, 2006 9:45 AM, Stephane Bortzmeyer wrote
> Whitehead proposed a *specific* proposal: encoding *two* variants of
> French. As far as I understand, he never suggested to encode a
> *generic* mechanism of variants-based-on-century (which would not
> please the muslims or the jews, I believe).

I haven't followed this closely but I believe there was mention in one of CE
Whitehead's letters of possible application to English. And from that,
apparently, there were other thoughts offered - positive and negative - re
use of such century tags. 

Per previous mail (and with thanks to Doug for reminding us about no hyphens
and non-ASCII characters), 16mes & 17mes might reflect the specific intent
and application at issue - if indeed the centuries are the best ways to
reference the differences on French of that period.

I'm admittedly not an expert in this, but it seems that in a working
environment where English clearly dominates (bon gré, mal gré), any
generic-looking descriptor in that language might easily be taken as
something that could be applied (or misapplied) in other contexts. That
might have a few advantages but it might also skew potential solutions in
some cases, and sooner or later would turn into a boundary to argue over (à
la "can't you just use 17thc for that?").

I probably should read the RFCs more closely but is there any guideline or
suggestion that subtags in general should be in the language they are
describing (to the extent feasible; one realizes that transcriptions of
non-Latin scripts into ASCII may present problems)? This was the solution in
the case of Armenian, for example. It doesn't seem to make much sense to use
English to describe variants within other languages when there are terms in
the languages themselves that do this perfectly well.


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