Basic English

Mark Davis ☕️ mark at
Thu Nov 26 19:34:12 CET 2015

At this point, I've pretty much given up on this process. Someone comes in
with a legitimate need for variant that would be deployed on wikipedia (a
pretty darn'd high-volume site), and be generally useful. What happens?
This gets sidetracked into promoting an obscure variant that will get
vanishingly small usage.​

I'll personally recommend in the future that people requesting anything
useful to just not bother with a variant, and simply request instead a
subtag with the -u- or -t- mechanisms, where the process has a sense of
both perspective and utility.

Too bad; the variants are syntactically simpler, and could have been a
useful mechanism.


On Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 7:16 PM, Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at>

> So (ironically from me), where would we stop?
> Presumably libraries won't fail because there's no tag for Basic English.
> Basic English has never had a tag before, and that hasn't prevented books
> from being written in it, nor libraries from including it in their catalog.
> This particular language is getting attention because at this moment
> Michael is interested in translating material to Basic English, desires a
> code for that work, and knows how to make a proposal.  There is also more
> historical writing in Basic English than in many of the other published
> varieties of English that have been experimented with, but probably less
> that 'simplified' English.
> I don't want to start judging subtags on their merits, but it probably
> shouldn't be allowed to be a free-for-all.  It seems like if a subtag for
> Basic English is interesting, then subtags for all of the others like
> Anglic, Amxrikai Spek, etc. creations should also be allowed.  That level
> of detail under an "en" tag seems likely to disrupt library classification
> systems that currently tend to put constructed languages in their own
> unique place.
> A library probably wouldn't want to file these constructed English texts
> with English, and they're likely of most interest to academics and others
> interested in constructed languages.  It doesn't make sense from a
> librarians point of view to shelve Basic English "Alice in Wonderland" next
> to English "Alice in Wonderland", the same way I wouldn't shelve a German
> version in the same section.
> I wonder if there should be a subtag to indicate constructed variants, and
> then include a bunch of the known constructed variants of English?
> -Shawn
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