Language subtag modification request: frr Suppres-Script Latn

John Cowan cowan at
Thu Mar 9 22:44:08 CET 2006

Michael Everson scripsit:

> And who has come to the registry with this concern? English can't be 
> issued a "Suppress-script". I have many texts in English in other 
> scripts: In Runic, in Tengwar. I have a book all about writing 
> English in Cyrillic.

Even so, the use of Latn for en clearly meets the RFC-mandated threshold:
"The field 'Suppress-Script' indicates a script used to write the
overwhelming majority of documents for the given language [...]."
The appropriate Suppress-Script for en is uncontroversially Latn.

> All of the scripts of the world are routinely transliterated into 
> Latin, by the United Nations and other authorities. Therefore *no* 
> language that primarily uses a non-Latin script is eligible for 
> "Suppress-script". And in many countries of the world, names in the 
> Latin script are routinely transcribed into non-Latin scripts. There 
> are often standards for doing this.

So there are.  That doesn't change the fact that the overwhelming majority
of Russian documents are in Cyrl and of Chinese documents are in Hani.
(Chinese is a more difficult case, though, because it's a macrolanguage,
and Latn is used for several non-Mandarin varieties.)

> I think this is one which got away from you guys. Until I'm given 
> some grounds for real evaluation, I can't think of ANY reason to 
> apply a "Suppress-Script" specification.

The grounds are clear-cut: see above.

> It would be prudent NOT to allow any "Suppress-script" tags (or 
> whatever you call this field) to be registered now, as it seems 
> badly-thought out and will just cause grandfathering clauses in 
> future.

Of the 480 language subtags in the current registry, 125 already have
Suppress-Script fields, including English and Russian but not Chinese.
In addition, the 639-2 collective language codes will not require any
Suppress-Script field, since there is no single script for them.

Cash registers don't really add and subtract;		John Cowan
        they only grind their gears.			cowan at
But then they don't really grind their gears, either;
        they only obey the laws of physics.  --Unknown

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