Another attempt at plain language

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Fri Sep 18 01:15:59 CEST 2015

> From: petercon at
> To: tobias.bengfort at; ietf-languages at
> Subject: RE: Another attempt at plain language
> Date: Thu, 17 Sep 2015 15:37:26 +0000
> From: Ietf-languages [mailto:ietf-languages-bounces at] On Behalf Of Tobias Bengfort
> >> I agree. Language tags should be descriptions of linguistic aspects of 
> >> the content, not assertions of conformance to somebody's content 
> >> guidelines.
> > I disagree. The subtag would not be used to claim conformance with accessibility guidelines, but is helpful for meeting the requirements.
> If the primary purpose is to be an aid in claiming conformance with somebody's content guidelines, then that is out of scope for language tags. If the primary purpose is to describe some linguistic aspect of content, and that subsequently proves to be useful as an aid in claiming conformance with some guidelines, then fine.
> > The requirement in this case is to either have the content in simple language or (and this is the important part) to reference a version of the content in simple language.
> We still need some characterization of "simple" so that it's clear when it can be used appropriately, and I think we need to understand if there is only one notion of "simple" (or, more generally, "controlled language") or several according to different usage scenarios.
I agree that "simple" needs defining, particularly if a generic subtag is being sought. However, if Tobias wants to apply for a subtag to tag a specific kind of controlled German or English, then is such a characterization still needed?  Or is it sufficient to present examples of text that's to be tagged as "simple" or whatever, and to then compare it with text that is not to be tagged as "simple"?  (Note on generic subtags: for FONIPA/FONUPA there are many examples of use, and it is clear that a single script subtag properly identifies all; I am one of those who not sure that such a generic subtag could work for "simple".) Thanks. 


-- C. E. Whitehead
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