PROPOSAL: Remove Deprecation on "sh" in the IANA subtag registry

Phillips, Addison addison at
Wed Aug 12 18:04:27 CEST 2009

ISO 639 isn’t going to resolve the issue because they don’t have one.

Regardless of whether it is deprecated or not, ‘sh’ is:

-          a valid subtag

-          a macrolanguage subtag

Politically ‘sh’ may be problematic, but no one is required to use it and we have ample primary language subtags to replace it. Since the registry does not permit multiple Preferred-Value fields, the most we could do is provide a Deprecated field. Mark is proposing to remove the Deprecated field since we don’t provide one for any other macrolanguage and since the RFC-to-be deprecates the use of macrolanguages in general. It isn’t like people tagging Serbian or Croatian are going to be confused, I think.

We can, of course, include a comment in the registry record explaining things in this special case. Perhaps:

Type: language
Subtag: sh
Description: Serbo-Croatian
Added: 2005-10-16
Scope: macrolanguage
Comment: For most modern uses, the subtags for languages enclosed by this macrolanguage
      are usually preferred, cf. ‘sr’ (Serbian), ‘hr’ (Croatian), ‘bs’ (Bosnian).


Addison Phillips
Globalization Architect -- Lab126

Internationalization is not a feature.
It is an architecture.

From: ietf-languages-bounces at [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of CE Whitehead
Sent: Wednesday, August 12, 2009 8:46 AM
To: ietf-languages at
Subject: PROPOSAL: Remove Deprecation on "sh" in the IANA subtag registry

Hi, I went and looked these arguments over and am a bit on the fence.  Linguistically I believe that it is good to have a macrolanguage in this case but politically it may not be so.  I won't at this time support a change, but will wait for a while to see if iso 639 ever resolves this issue.


C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at<mailto:cewcathar at>

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