gender voice variants

Michael Everson everson at
Thu Dec 20 21:17:12 CET 2012

On 20 Dec 2012, at 17:55, Mark Davis ☕ <mark at> wrote:

> The world is rarely "clean" in that sense. The distinction between en-CA, en-US, and en-GB is not clean (look at the usage of the Oxford comma, which cuts across this;

Actually the Oxford comma is the same as the Harvard comma, isn't it?

> let alone the Shatner comma ;-).

(I laughed out loud!)

> Nor are the current variants "clean" in the sense of always being algorithmically determinable. 
> However, certain distinctions even if not perfect, are often extremely useful.

Sometimes a quick fix foreshadows problems down the road. 

> Karen just mentioned "I can't make a use case for your creating formal and informal versions of an OS". In response, I gave an example of a very real use case. And while it may perfectly represent the nuances of expression possible with human language, it does solve a significant issue in IT.

Actually I didn't find your examples all that different from what one might envision the Mac OS doing at some stage. 

> However, I'm not pushing for registration of the formal/informal distinction with BCP47 variants. "Usefulness in IT" unfortunately seems to have little weight as a criterion for registration of variants, so if we decide we need to have it, we'd take the route of proposing a -u or -t subtag instead.

I'm not necessarily rejecting anything either. I think this should be really very very well talked and thought out. Peter was wondering something. That doesn't imply a need for haste.

Michael Everson *

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