Additional descriptions for territories

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Wed Oct 5 01:31:40 CEST 2011

Hi one more and thanks to Doug and Karl for your information.  (Sorry I got confused -- my goof; but you're not changing what we have, just adding additional information, so if you want to add info to some description fields, that sounds fine, IMO, for many but not all of the subtags listed.)
Doug Ewell doug at 
Mon Oct 3 23:42:04 CEST 2011 

> CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:
>> (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;

> There are no subtags (except private-use) for any supranational region
> that is not coded in UN M.49 or exceptionally reserved in ISO 3166-1.
Thanks for this information.
(Also, I finally realized that "Northern America" at least may be used to tag Canadian and U.S. English, which blend some at the U.S.-Canadian border, as a unit, distinguishing these from other Englishes spoken in North America -- perhaps from the English spoken in Belize or the Caribbean C:  [though this subtag of course lumps Southern dialect, Brooklyn drawls, more under "Northern America"]. So thanks for pointing me to this.)

>> 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.) 

> UN M.49 once had a code element 062 for "South-Central Asia", but this
> was withdrawn and the constituent countries allocated to other "Asia"
> code elements before RFC 4646 was published. Code elements that were
> withdrawn, deprecated, or deleted from a core standard before they were
> eligible for use in BCP 47 language tags are not added to the Registry.
Thanks for this info.
> . . . 

  > I suggested *possibly* adding a second
> Description field when the existing, ISO-based one might not be clear
> enough to help users choose the right subtag. "Democratic People's
> Republic of Korea" is, to me, a good example where it might be helpful
> to add "North Korea" as an alternative Description field. I think that "North Korea" can be added to the description field for "Democratic People's Republic of Korea," but only if we add descriptions to similar subtags where we have a name for a state and a name for a nearby state and both share part of their name (for example the two Congos).
> "Islamic
> Republic of Iran" is less obvious because it does at least contain
> "Iran", which is not true of any other region subtag.
>> 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).
(I suppose the current subtag is clear enough.)
> I haven't formally proposed anything. I just mentioned the idea in an
> offhanded way ("we might also consider..."), and quite honestly I now
> wish I'd never brought it up.
Sorry, then.
> --
> Doug Ewell | Thornton, Colorado, USA | RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14
> | | @DougEwell

> From: hmdmhdfmhdjmzdtjmzdtzktdkztdjz at
> Date: Tue, 4 Oct 2011 16:33:09 +0200
> Subject: Re: Additional descriptions for territories
> To: cewcathar at
> CC: ietf-languages at
> On 3 October 2011 21:05, CE Whitehead wrote:
> >> As an example, I agree completely with "East Germany" and "Laos"
> >> and "South Yemen"
> [...]
> > 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.  (Plus this is "splitting hairs" again.As may be "Ceuta and Melilla;"likewise, "Holy See; Vatican City State")But I do think that Kent is right; we can use a few of the additional descriptions he has suggested, including perhaps  the following:The Democratic Republic of the Congo  -> Congo-Kinshasa
Congo                                 -> Congo-Brazzaville
As for "Christmas Island," it may not need any additional description, as here is what google turned up for a search on that name:,or.r_gc.r_pw.,cf.osb&fp=68de2e8e8d981ebd&biw=1024&bih=478but I won't argue it.
> Please limit "description beautification" efforts to tags that are
> not deprecated.  E.g., I'd prefer to keep "dd" and "yd" as is, the
> "d" never stood for "East" or "South".  OTOH a new description for
> "su" _could_ better explain the subtag, but folks looking for the
> old official name might disagree.  If you seriously want to play
> with those deprecated subtags do it in a comment or in a second
> description, otherwise keep it "as is".
> -Frank
I agree for [SU].I'm not sure about [DD] and [YE] but I'll defer to Frank on [DD].
In any case, we probably ought to, as Martin says, fix the description field for Libya, per ISO 3166, first.
Best,--C. E. Whiteheadcewcathar at 
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