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In message <p06001a03bb3c4538c07c@[195.218.107.194]> at 07:47 -0400
2003-07-17, Milicent K Wewerka wrote via [log in to unmask],
Re: "Groups" and "rest groups"

> >I think for the MARC list of codes, we will want to change the caption
> >"Sorbian languages" to "Sorbian (Other)."  This will signal to MARC
> >users that there may be separate codes for individual languages of the
> >group.

Michael Everson replied:

> I would deprecate it.

I agree strongly with Michael. Deprecation is normal with many other
ISO standards, particularly where there are maintenance agencies, and
lists of deprecated entities can be listd by the maintenance agency.

Why is there an apparent reluctance to do the same for ISO 639,
out of interest?

In any case, the suggestion of changing

> >"Sorbian languages" to "Sorbian (Other)"

as Milicent suggests is very misleading -
which _other_ Sorbian languages are indicated?

Milicent also wrote:

> >This will signal to MARC users that there may be separate codes
> >for individual languages of the group.

1. MARC users are not the only users of ISO 639-2.
2. Standards don't "signal" - they specify things explicitly.

If you want an obvious model, and set of actions for MARC users,
the obvious parallel is Library of Congress (LC) practice for
Norwegian, which has Bokmål and Nynorsk forms:
LC sticks to the code for Norwegian.

If you only want to specify use for MARC users, the obvious
suggestion is exactly parallel:
LC sticks to the code for Wendish.

Best regards

John Clews

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John Clews,
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Committee Member of ISO/IEC/JTC1/SC22/WG20: Internationalization;
Committee Member of ISO/TC37/SC2/WG1: Language Codes