Karen_Broome at Karen_Broome at
Wed Aug 22 03:43:13 CEST 2007


I don't think what I'm seeing referred to as Standard Scottish English is 
what you're referencing below. I don't see it mentioned as a "business 
dialect". Do you have a link where this is described?


Keep in mind: This is not abstract. I have a specific business need and 
that semantic is best represented by a region. As previously noted, I'll 
accept a classification of Standard Scottish English, but I don't think 
this will be as accurate for what I'm trying to classify as "Scottish 
English." A region tag would cover any Scottish dialect of English found 
in the film and that's the reality of this situation. 

Films flagged with the Scottish English tag would be more likely 
candidates for subtitles or redubbing than other English variants, and the 
audience for these films would be different. I need a tag so users will 
pull the right product from an online retailer, distributors will send the 
right product, the right language track is played on a DVD containing 
multiple audio tracks, video-on-demand will push the right film based on 
user preferences, we can accurately identify these items in a large 
archive used to create derivative works and additional versions -- and 
existing XML formats can effortlessly express all these variations.

To be honest, with so much documentation on the Web, a real-life use case, 
and a set of ears, I can't believe there is so much controversy over the 
legitimacy of my request.  I would think the controversy would be over the 
best way to represent this linguistic entity as there's no way other than 
a variant tag in RFC 4646 and it seems like there should be. I will need 
to employ a private use tag if this request is not granted and whatever 
the resulting tag is, I will need to encourage this use throughout the 
entertainment industry. If spelling matters in written contexts, surely 
accents matter in spoken contexts -- even if no differences in word choice 

English is a language and Scotland is a well-defined region. There is no 
controversy about these two statements -- why is there so much controversy 
over putting the two together? Isn't this what the variant tag is for?


Karen Broome
Metadata Systems Designer
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Caoimhin O Donnaile <caoimhin at> 
Sent by: ietf-languages-bounces at
08/21/2007 05:39 PM

Michael Everson <everson at>
IETF Languages Discussion <ietf-languages at>

> >But Scottish English is clear and well-defined enough as a variety 
> >to be worth registering.
> Where and how is it defined?

I don't know.  Since everything is a continuum between "English",
"Scottish English" and "Scots", not to mention the regional
variations, any definition would have to be somewhat arbitrary.

I am sure, though, that if you did a cluster analysis of English speech
throughout Great Britain (having first eliminated anything which you
wished to classify as "Scots"), English speech in Scotland would
form a distinctive enough cluster to be worth giving a name to.
And indeed if you search with Google for "Scottish-English Scots"
you get 220,000 hits, showing that "Scottish English" is very
often used as a linguistic term.  I expect the same kind of problem
would arise with most variant tags which people wish to register, apart 
from those relating to orthographic standards and suchlike.

If we wanted to attempt to pin down some kind of demarcation lines
at this stage, Derrick McLure at Aberdeen University would be a
good contact.

> Does "Scottish English" include Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and 
> Inverness equally?

It would certainly include Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.  I have
never been to Aberdeen, but I expect that a fair bit of the speech
on the streets o Aiberdeen would be classed as Scots - more so than
in the other Scottish cities.

After thinking about it, I share Michael's view that "en-scottish"
would be better than an obscure M.49 code, even if one were possible.

There was some talk of defining "en-scottish" to be "Standard
Scottish English" rather than "Scottish English".  I think that
would be a bad idea.  If I understand things, the archetype of
Standard Scottish English would be the English which educated
Scottish businessmen would aspire to use among themselves, which
would probably exclude a lot of the language in the Glasgow films
which Karen needs to catalogue.



There is a fair difference between the language in each, I think.
Part of it may be that when confronted with a reporter from
BBC Scotland speaking something like Scottish Standard English,
John Smeaton attempts to match his language to hers.

Ietf-languages mailing list
Ietf-languages at

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...

More information about the Ietf-languages mailing list