Language for taxonomic names, redux

Andy Mabbett andy at
Wed Feb 22 00:07:05 CET 2017

On 21 February 2017 at 19:50, Doug Ewell <doug at> wrote:

> Andy Mabbett wrote:
> > Some 14 years(!) ago, I raised the issue of a language code for
> > marking up the taxonomic names of living things:
> >
> >
> >
> > But that came to nothing.
> Actually, it was considered rather extensively on the list, and Michael
> made a formal decision in

There's nothing there that says it is a "formal decision" (I'm not
doubting you when you say it was; but that's not transparent to
someone who is - still - new to this process).

I also note that the subject of Michael's email is not the one I
posted my request under; and was signed as "Everson Typography", not

> I would think that the need today would be to demonstrate that this
> meets the criteria in Section 3.6 of RFC 5646, which didn't exist 14
> years ago:
> "Dialect or other divisions or variations within a language, its
> orthography, writing system, regional or historical usage,
> transliteration or other transformation, or distinguishing variation MAY
> be registered as variant subtags."

Thank you.

Which language are taxonomic names "divisions or variations within"?
As I noted all those years ago, they're not Latin, and not English.

I also note that John Hanna asked a similar question, in reply to
Michael, back in 2003:

Andy Mabbett

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