Is there a subtag for 'plain English' or 'simplified English'

Doug Ewell dewell at
Tue Dec 19 17:55:34 CET 2006

Peter Constable <petercon at microsoft dot com> wrote:

> Perhaps variant subtags "colloq" and "legal" (and perhaps others for 
> other registers of English usage). Of course, the vast majority of 
> English content is colloquial, so "colloq" would only get used in 
> particular application contexts, e.g. if you were maintaining a corpus 
> of documents used for training natural-language processing tools.

That's still too broad and general.  What is colloquial for a church 
sermon or attorney's letter is unspeakably formal and stilted when 
shouted across a football field.

Stephane's point about ASD Simplified Technical English is a good one; 
it is well-defined and such a subtag would be meaningful and 
interoperable.  So would a subtag for Basic English, also clearly 
defined.  I don't believe the difference between "Hello" and "Hi" and 
"Hey, dude, what's up" can be reasonably captured in short alphabetic 

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14

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