Variant subtag proposal: H?gnorsk variety of Norwegian

Doug Ewell doug at
Sun Jan 3 02:49:01 CET 2010

Leif Halvard Silli <xn dash dash mlform dash iua at xn dash dash mlform 
dash iua dot no>

> I feel that what Richard Ishida's Language Subtag Lookup [1] says 
> about 'no' is a good argument. That note notes the existence of 
> precisely such quirks. (And it also serves as a comment to Doug, who 
> was surprised to hear that one should avoid using 'no' despite its 
> massive use.)
> ]]
> no is a macrolanguage that encompasses the following more specific 
> primary language subtags: nb nn . If it doesn't break legacy usage for 
> your application, you should use one of these more specific language 
> subtags instead."
> [[

People tag content for different reasons.  If your primary goal in 
tagging a piece of Norwegian content is precision, you will certainly 
choose "nb" or "nn" instead of "no".  If you are additionally concerned 
about searchability -- potentially by non-native speakers who may think 
"Norwegian" is precise enough, using browsers or search engines which 
may not understand the relationship between the three subtags -- then 
you may have to think about it.  The same argument applies to "zh" 
versus "cmn", "yue", "wuu", etc.

I'm not trying to say that "no" is usually the best choice, only that 
the situation (as with Chinese) is complex, and dismissing "no" as a 
political hack or a mistake perpetrated by earlier coding systems misses 
at least some of the story.

> (Of course, feel free to use 'gem' as prefix if that is the only thing 
> that saves your day. But then we are far outside the relevant problems 
> to discuss.)

I suspect nobody was really recommending "gem-hognorsk" for real use, 
only using it to make a point.

Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­

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