Another attempt at plain language

Shawn Steele Shawn.Steele at
Fri Sep 11 22:08:29 CEST 2015

Hmm another (perhaps more interesting) question.  Normally the variants make tags more explicit (as this may).  However a query with en-US-plain may better fit en-plain than en-US, breaking the chop-from-right idea?


-----Original Message-----
From: Ietf-languages [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Shawn Steele
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 12:28 PM
To: John Cowan <cowan at>
Cc: ietf-languages at; Tobias Bengfort <tobias.bengfort at>
Subject: RE: Another attempt at plain language

Is the intent useful?  What happens if I intended to write it as just (can't use plain there) en or en-plain?  Are authors going to write both?

It seems to me that as a content author I may target an easier vocabulary or style to appeal as many people as possible, however as a user doing searches or something it seems that would be on the low end of my list (maybe) as I'd prefer the site that had the information I wanted over a site that didn't yet was en-plain.


-----Original Message-----
From: John Cowan [mailto:cowan at] On Behalf Of John Cowan
Sent: Friday, September 11, 2015 12:12 PM
To: Shawn Steele <Shawn.Steele at>
Cc: Doug Ewell <doug at>; CE Whitehead <cewcathar at>; Tobias Bengfort <tobias.bengfort at>; ietf-languages at
Subject: Re: Another attempt at plain language

Shawn Steele scripsit:

> Hmm, I'll have to digest that... If it's intended to help the 
> accessibility guidelines, then there's no real guarantee that it is 
> indeed appropriately written as tagged.

There is no guarantee that something tagged "de" is really written in German, either (indeed, Google routinely ignores the tag "en", because it is plonked on all sorts of pages).  It's about authorial intent, as I posted before.

John Cowan        cowan at
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