Registration request for new subtags for Portuguese orthographies

Luc Pardon lucp at
Sat Mar 28 17:45:55 CET 2015

On 27-03-15 23:19, Kent Karlsson wrote:
> Den 2015-03-27 02:15, skrev "Doug Ewell" <doug at>:
>> Kent Karlsson wrote:
>>> Possibly having something along the lines of ao1990br (for the Accordo
>>> as used in Brazil), ao1990pt (for the Accordo as used in Portugal),
>>> and maybe other variants would be a way out.
>> Again, this seems to be exactly what the reform is NOT about.
> Perhaps not, but that seems to be the net effect, since it is not a
> unified (as in united) orthography, but a union (as in set union)
> orthography.
> /Kent K

  It is a compromise, in the same way pre-2005 Dutch was a compromise.

  If the goal is a "unified (as in united) orthography" across country
borders, and there is agreement on 99% of the words, but there are
strong feelings about the remaining 1%, it makes perfect sense to "agree
to disagree" on the 1%, legitimize two versions of those few words, and
let the users free to choose. The alternative is to have no spelling
convention at all.

  Your assumption (and Michael's and others' on this list) seems to be
that each user in any given country will stick to the version that used
to be legitimate in his country before the reform, and therefore you
conclude that this reform cannot but result in country-specific subsets.

  My assumption is different, if only because that is not what happened
in Dutch. There were many reasons for preferring one option over the
other, but our geographic location was most certainly not one of them.

  Unless I'm mistaken, my assumption happens to be shared by António
Emiliano, who is documented in the Portuguese wikipedia article [1] as
one of the main opponents of ao1990. One of his objections is cited as:

> A possibilidade de se escrever de forma alternativa uma quantidade enorme de palavras e de expressões complexas deixa ao arbítrio de cada utilizador individual a estrutura da 'sua' ortografia pessoal — imagine-se o que seria cada um de nós poder pôr em vigor a sua versão personalizada do Código de Processo Penal ou do Código da Estrada!

  It seems to me that this flatly contradicts the assumption of a
limited set of regional variants, one for each country.

  As I said before, we writers of Dutch have worked for ten years with a
spelling convention that "allowed each user his personal orthography",
so I do not share his concern [2]. Of course, some might argue that the
very fact, that I'm jumping in here to try and make Michael change his
mind, is the definitive proof that such a spelling standard must be
brain-damaging indeed ...

  Luc Pardon


[2] To be honest: we solved the last part of his concern by having a
predefined subset of "preferred" variants, for use in official business.
On the other hand, few of us felt the need to write our own Penal Code,
and if we did, it would have been of rather limited use.

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