Additional descriptions for territories ( was: Re: Libya)

Doug Ewell doug at
Sun Oct 2 18:05:52 CEST 2011

Kent Karlsson wrote:

>> We might also consider adding the occasional second Description field
>> that matches common use, such as "South Korea" or "Iran," to ease the
> ((a case of misplaced punctuation... I know it is a custom, a bad
> one.))

[OT] I don't agree philosophically with American comma-inside-quotes 
style, but as an American, I make no apologies for using it here.  On 
lists like this, the comma-outside-quotes style is accepted, and in 
technical contexts it is often necessary to resolve ambiguity, but in 
most American publications it is considered a gross error.  You will 
often see me alternating between the two here.  Of course I was not 
suggesting adding the name "Iran-followed-by-a-comma".

> Description: Åland Islands                        -> Åland
> Description: Cocos (Keeling) Islands
>         add two descriptions (note that there are several Cocos Is.):
>         [Cocos Islands (Australia); Keeling Islands]
> Description: The Democratic Republic of the Congo -> Congo-Kinshasa
> Description: Congo                                -> Congo-Brazzaville
> Description: Christmas Island
>         there are several islands with this name...
>         [Christmas Island (Australia)]
> Description: Czech Republic                       -> Czechia
> Description: German Democratic Republic           -> East Germany
> Description: Ceuta, Melilla                       -> Ceuta and Melilla
> Description: Federated States of Micronesia -> Federation of
> Micronesia
> Description: Islamic Republic of Iran             -> Iran
> Description: Democratic People's Republic of Korea -> North Korea
> Description: Republic of Korea                    -> South Korea
> Description: Lao People's Democratic Republic     -> Laos
> Description: Libyan Arab Jamahiriya               -> Libya
> Description: Union of Soviet Socialist Republics  -> Soviet Union
> Description: Taiwan, Province of China            -> Taiwan
> Description: United Republic of Tanzania          -> Tanzania
> Description: United States                 -> United States of America
> Description: Holy See (Vatican City State)
>         split into two descriptions: [Holy See; Vatican City State]
> Description: Democratic Yemen                     -> South Yemen
> I've left out MK and PS, however.

I think Kent's list might serve to show why we haven't tackled this 
before: differences of opinion and difficulty in drawing the line 
between "needs changing" and "doesn't need changing."  As an example, I 
agree completely with "East Germany" and "Laos" and "South Yemen", I 
think "Ceuta and Melilla" and many others are too similar to the 
existing names to bother adding the aliases, and I have never heard 
"Czechia" used in English, though it is common in other languages (my 
spell-checker rejects it).

MK is a sticky problem, as mentioned earlier, and Taiwan without 
"Province of China" might be the same type of problem.  With PS, there 
is probably no better course of action than to leave the politically 
delicate "Occupied Palestinian Territory" unless and until a more widely 
accepted name gains international currency.

> I also note that:
> Description: North America      vs. Description: Northern America
> Description: Micronesia     vs. Description: Federated States of
> Micronesia
> have been cases of continuing problems of translation in CLDR...
> But the former have comments in the Registry, and for neither I have
> a really good solution.

The choice to include subtags both for countries and for supranational 
regions led us to that particular problem.  Some of these names are just 
going to be similar; we should be glad M.49 didn't include a regional 
code element for the continent "Australia".  M.49 does have strange and 
fascinating rules for defining "North America" versus "Northern America" 
and I've always been happy to stay as far away from that mess as 

Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14 | | @DougEwell ­ 

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