Request: Add retired tag "eml" to the IANA registry

Randy Presuhn randy_presuhn at
Mon Dec 14 08:24:55 CET 2009

Hi -

> From: "John Cowan" <cowan at>
> To: "Randy Presuhn" <randy_presuhn at>
> Cc: <ietf-languages at>
> Sent: Sunday, December 13, 2009 9:56 PM
> Subject: Re: Request: Add retired tag "eml" to the IANA registry
> But what about the original request for 'eml'?  That is not a merger,
> but a split: it represents the RA's decision that Emiliano-Romagnolo is
> not a single language but two languages.  Here the denotation of 'eml'
> is the union of the denotations of 'egl' and 'rgn'.  The 639-3/RA chose
> not to make 'eml' a macrolanguage, and 639-5/RA chose not to make it a
> collection code, so it was retired.  The result is that anything so tagged
> cannot be correctly retagged unless it is re-examined to see if it is
> 'egl' or 'rgn'.  This is not a case like "eng-840" where a mechanical
> transformation is all that is required.

Anything tagged with "eml" was tagged with an invalid tag.
Since the Wikipedia community appears to have an application where
it is useful to consider materials in either of these two languages as
though they were in the same language, then I think it would it would be
perfectly reasonable to...

> I suppose we could create a 5-letter primary language tag for this case,

However, though I tend to agree I'm wary of...

> but we don't need to: we can instantiate the 639-3 code element as a
> normal primary language subtag.  If we are not required to do this,
> we are not forbidden from doing it either.

I'm wary of this creating a situation where folks would be tempted to
treat it as some sort of precedent, in the sense of creating an obligation
to handle other cases in the same way.

If we do register the resuscitated "eml" (or its 5-letter replacement)
and 'egl' and 'rgn', and hope we don't end up with another Romanian /
Moldovan situation.


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