Suppress-Script batch 1

Doug Ewell dewell at
Wed Sep 27 20:06:50 CEST 2006

(Cross-posted to ietf-languages, since it really belongs there.)

Addison Phillips <addison at yahoo dash inc dot com> wrote:

> Here's my thought:
>   -1 to all of them
> I still believe that Suppress-Script was the wrong solution to the 
> script subtag problem. Here we are seeing *exactly* the kinds of 
> problems with it that I predicted, which is that it is very difficult 
> indeed to make a complete, comprehensive, and verifiably correct list.

We can't put that particular toothpaste back into that particular tube. 
By creating an initial set of 126 Suppress-Script entries, I'm afraid 
the stage is set to investigate the remaining RFC 3066-era languages, 
and either add Suppress-Scripts or not.

> Furthermore, the possibility of abuse is clearly present. I see 'tt' 
> on the list below, despite someone's vehement belief that Tatar 
> speakers wish to write using the Latin script and are being 
> suppressed. Suppress-Script would aid that, if that case turns out to 
> be true.

This is a good observation, and it's why John urged everyone to review 
his list.  For the kind of bulk update that John and others have in 
mind, we (ietf-languages) would probably have to raise the bar for 
acceptance even higher, something like "Language A written in Script B 
would be just plain bizarre."

Last March I began a small research project to determine whether Korean 
should have a Suppress-Script of Hangul.  I read books, scanned 
Korean-language newspapers published in Seoul and in Los Angeles, 
checked numerous Web sites, talked to native Korean speakers in person 
and by e-mail.  The result was that Hangul is, in fact, used an 
overwhelming proportion of the time to write modern Korean -- a 
colleague at work actually used the word "overwhelming" -- but there is 
still a certain, tiny, regular pattern of usage of Han (hanja) in 
scholarly works and newspapers.  "Regular" was the key here.  So I 
concluded that a Suppress-Script for Korean actually would NOT be a good 
idea, which is not what I expected to find.

One important fact to keep in mind is that Suppress-Script values may be 
not only added, but also removed (Section 3.4, item 7).  If we make a 
mistake, we can go back and fix it.

> Since we didn't do that [Accept-Script], I think we should only create 
> Suppress-Script fields when there is clear and compelling reason to do 
> so... and I think that a clear and compelling reason for me would be 
> someone requesting it on purpose.

Like all other requests, though, it needs to be confirmed that such a 
request relates to actual usage, and is not a "test" of the system or an 
attempt to "prove" something about the system or its participants or 
related SDOs.

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

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