Proposed new variant subtag: pre1917

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Wed Sep 15 20:27:41 CEST 2010

Hi, Doug, all:
Doug Ewell doug at 
Sun Sep 12 18:09:51 CEST 2010 
> Kent Karlsson <kent dot karlsson14 at telia dot com> wrote:
>> I think using a year number for a variant subtag for an orthography 
>> *introduced* officially or effectively at or around a particular year 
>> perfectly fine. (But I agree that "pre1917" is a no-go. It's 
>> backwards.)
> I concede that some (8-letters-or-less) equivalent of 'peter1708' and
> 'shakhmatov1917' 
These are fine with me but I am not the requestor.
Sorry for my earlier vague suggestion of pre1917 (it had the right number of characters in it . . . )
> would be better than simply '1917' or 'pre1917' or 
> 'rus1917', as these would indicate specifically the orthographic reforms 
> of 1708 and 1917 and would not lend themselves to inappropriate generic 
> application.
>> Something like "cyr44let" is, however, needlessly obfuscated.
> I agree.  Russians are probably very familiar with "the 44-letter 
> alphabet" and "the 33-letter alphabet" but this approach requires 
> non-native speakers to count letters.
>> I don't see a proposal for a subtag for post-1917 Russian 
>> orthography...
> There is a history, perhaps an unfortunate one, that if language 
> variation A gets a variant subtag and language variation B does not, 
> some people will take that to mean that variation B must be the 
> "standard" or "normal" or "official" or "correct" variation and A must 
> be the aberration.  The only solution acceptable to all is to assign two 
> v(or more) subtags.  So far we have not had any calls for a variant 
> subtag indicating "non-Scottish English" or "modern French orthography," 
> but time will tell.
Modern French may be the standard. 
> I'd like to suggest that we need only two subtags, not three, since 
> Avram Lyon's original request stated:
> "This variant subtag is intended to apply to text presented in the 
> Russian Civil Script, after the Petrine orthographic reforms of 1708 and 
> before the December 23, 1917 orthographic reform."
Yes we certainly do not need three; my feeling is the requestor has just asked for the one subtag and that's the one we should register; if it causes confusion not to have a separate subtag for the standard orthography of today then we'll have to fix that but not yet . . .
--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at
> and since the additional changes around 1750 (between Peter I's reform 
> of 1708 and the Revolutionary reform of 1917) appear to have been less 
> clear-cut, more like evolution than reform.  
> We don't have variant 
> subtags for English written with or without the letters J and U.
> --
> Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA |
> RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | ietf-languages @ is dot gd slash 2kf0s ­ 


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