Early Modern English

Sean B. Palmer sean at miscoranda.com
Thu Jan 12 23:38:02 CET 2012

Doug Ewell wrote:

> But in the end, it might be better to have this subtag registered
> with an obscure or even misleading name than not registered at
> all because we can't agree on a name.

But isn't the good news that you don't have to agree on a name,
because scholars already agree on it? All you have to do is
transliterate "Early Modern" into IANA-ese. You're not agreeing on a
name, because it's already agreed upon. You're agreeing on a
transliteration into a subtag. If you disagree on a name, then you
disagree with established references, which necessitates that you
shall proceed no further with the registration of the subtag.

How many possible transliterations into a subtag or subtags are there?
The following is the completely enumerated list of all those that make
sense to me:

1. en-emodern
2. en-emode
3. en-emod

4. en-earlymod
5. en-earlym

6. en-modern-early
7. en-modern-e
8. en-mod-early
9. en-mod-e

Add more if you can think of any. If an arbitrary choice must be made
in the transliteration, then it can easily be made from that list or a
logical extension thereof; but I'm surprised there is no standard
algorithm for this.

On picking a subtag or subtags that sound too generic and may be
incorrectly used elsewhere, I would say that doing such a thing would
be the fault of the user who does so against what is said in the RFCs.
It's not the fault of the language tag designers, unless you allow a
registration for en-dodgson-eat-me.

Sean B. Palmer

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