Additional descriptions for territories ( was: Re: Libya)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Mon Oct 3 21:05:54 CEST 2011

Hi.  (I don't know if I should have even commented on Doug's reply to Kent; are we considering these changes?)
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
Hmm.  ("Northern America" is essentially the NAFTA countries I guess?).

I see these now; thanks for pointing these out. (I also  note that there is no subtag to designate "the Levant;" there is also no subtag for "the Mediterranean" [Southern Europe, the Levant, and North Africa combined] that I can see; also no subtag for "South Central Asia" [so standard in everyday use but this looks like "South Asia;" perhaps I am seeking a subtag for "the Indian Subcontinent"]. That's life I guess.) 

I agree like Doug on changing the definitions of a few region subtags to "East Germany," "South Yemen," "Laos," as well as the definition to "Libya."  As for the Soviet Union and Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, both names are o.k. IMO, but as this is a deprecated subtag; let it be; as for Iran, both names might be helpful to have, but Doug does not prefer the two-name solution.  And personally I'd say leave Democratic People's Republic of Korea as is right now.
As for Czechia, I have never seen Czechia in English either.

As for United States and United States of America, perhaps we are splitting hairs (though there may be United States of . . . other places eventually).
Perhaps Doug is right; [PS] should be left as is; though of course I myself do not find the name "Palestine" terribly ambiguous (I doubt, as there is a separate subtag for Israel, that "Palestine" could be misinterpreted as including both regions).

I guess I support the same changes Doug does thus; I am unsure about [PS] (but he is right; we have not been asked to change it by anyone; so leave it be).
Best,--C. E. Whiteheadcewcathar at 
>> 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 
> possible.

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

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