Proposed new variant subtag: pre1917

John Cowan cowan at
Mon Sep 13 15:55:28 CEST 2010

Michael Everson scripsit:

> I would rather see a subtag pegged to an authoritative dictionary or
> similar source; if further precision is required, other dictionaries
> for other milestones can be used.

It's characteristic of both Russian standardizations (before Peter there
was no standard) that they didn't become formally codified for a long
time after they came into use.  Peter proclaimed the new letter shapes
(and the loss of certain letters) in 1708, but didn't actually order
changes in the spelling of any words; that simply followed from the fact
that some letters no longer existed.  It was not until 1885 that a fully
authoritative grammar appeared specifying a completely stable orthography.
Similarly, the 1917-18 reforms weren't codified until 1955.  The essence
of the reforms in each case was adopted within a few years after
promulgation, however.

> Somehow "any from 1708-1917" seems a bit vague.

It's really not; there were variations, but overall the orthographic
model was fairly consistent and sharply distinct from its successor.

I would propose the tag "grazhdan", the root of _grazhdanskij_ 'civil',
the word usually applied to Peter's reformed letter shapes.

Let's face it: software is crap. Feature-laden and bloated, written under
tremendous time-pressure, often by incapable coders, using dangerous
languages and inadequate tools, trying to connect to heaps of broken or
obsolete protocols, implemented equally insufficiently, running on
unpredictable hardware -- we are all more than used to brokenness.
                   --Felix Winkelmann

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