ISO 3166-2 (was: Re: Scottish English)

Doug Ewell dewell at
Fri Aug 24 07:14:40 CEST 2007

Mark Davis <mark dot davis at icu dash project dot org> wrote:

> Add to that list the fundamental reason: there is some reason to use 
> countries in defining language variants, because the governments are 
> often associated with particular policies regarding orthography and 
> other language variant features. However, that relationship becomes 
> very tenuous when we look at sub-country boundaries, which are far 
> less commonly associated strongly with a particular language variant. 
> Moreover, where there is such a relationship, it far less likely to be 
> unique; the same features will be shared among a large set of 
> subregions.

Ninety-nine percent of the time, you are right: the main reason we don't 
want to get involved with sub-national region subtags is that they don't 
represent enough of a linguistic difference to be worth tagging.

For that one percent of the time when there is a taggable difference, 
such as we are seeing right now with Scottish English, I feel it's 
important to point out the technical conflicts between ISO 3166-2 and 
the rest of the BCP 47 syntax.

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

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