be-something (was: Re: LANGUAGE SUBTAG REGISTRATION FORM (R4): pinyin)

Doug Ewell doug at
Wed Sep 24 02:29:32 CEST 2008

"Phillips, Addison" <addison at amazon dot com> wrote:

> AP> What would be best would be a subtag that conveys the meaning in 
> some distinctly local way. Alas, it seems that the obvious candidate 
> is a pejorative term. Is there no other term than ?academic? for this 
> orthography?

Ah, but that's the problem: there isn't.  If only there were a 
convenient, widely recognized term for this orthography -- something 
like "narkamauka," but without the unacceptable negative connotation --  
this matter would have been settled long ago.  I doubt the whole 
distracting question of whether to encode the orthography as a concept, 
versus specific year-based revisions of it, would have even crossed 
anyone's mind.

On the other hand, "pinyin" -- by itself, not qualified with any other 
term such as "Tongyong" -- does seem to have a clearly defined meaning 
in language-tagging circles, and we still can't agree to register it 
with that specific meaning.

Doug Ewell  *  Thornton, Colorado, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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