Gwich'in (was: Re: language tag en-cutspell)

Doug Ewell dewell at
Sat Jun 24 09:45:45 CEST 2006

Randy Presuhn <randy underscore presuhn at mindspring dot com> wrote:

>> But I also asked LTRU whether the Description field was supposed to 
>> copy the ISO standard directly, or whether we were supposed to fix 
>> spellings or add alternative usages or perform ASCII folding or what. 
>> And the consensus came back, follow the ISO standard, even when it 
>> has something silly like *Gwich´in.  And that is what I did -- follow 
>> the consensus.  That was my job, as editor of a document produced by 
>> a Working Group.
>> ...
> Context matters.  The context of that discussion was the generation of 
> an initial registry, not constraints on the values that could appear 
> in that field.  The work of the ltru WG is not to second-guess the 
> experts on ietf-languages at   Consequently, FOR PURPOSES OF 
> If ietf-languages at decides that something else would be 
> better, then by all means it should replace or augment the specific 
> Descriptions in question.

Exactly right.  And that is why, in, 
I proposed replacing the bogus U+00B4 in Gwich'in with U+02BC, as 
Michael requested, and also adding a second Description with ASCII 
apostrophe to satisfy the text-searching need described by Richard and 

But then the various divergent opinions within ietf-languages started to 
be heard: at least one person wanted *only* the ASCII version, at least 
one other person wanted *only* the version with U+02BC, and at least one 
or two other people wanted to keep one version exactly as stated on the 
ISO 639 Web page, regardless of whether we add more.

It was obvious we weren't going to see any convergence on this, so 
finally in 
I gave up and scaled back my proposals to simply add ASCII-folded 
versions of any Description that contained a non-ASCII "apostrophe," 
while keeping the original for traceability.  (Plus Amis.)

Now this does NOT mean I'm in love with the acute accent.  It means I 
could not find widespread, conclusive support on the list for getting 
rid of it.  I want to make sure the less-controversial proposals have a 
chance of getting through, without getting bogged down indefinitely by 
the controversial ones.

I'd like to know exactly what Descriptions each list member would like 
to see for Gwich'in.  For example, "I'd like to see one with the ASCII 
apostrophe and one with U+02BC."  If enough people reply, maybe we can 
identify a listwide preference after all.

Doug Ewell
Fullerton, California, USA 

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