[tz] Change Request: Europe/Kiev to Europe/Kyiv

Brian Inglis Brian.Inglis at SystematicSw.ab.ca
Sun Aug 16 17:11:59 UTC 2020

On 2020-08-15 16:56, Garrett Wollman wrote:
> On August 15, 2020 6:19:08 PM EDT, Paul Eggert <eggert at cs.ucla.edu> wrote:
>> Many sources are using "Kyiv", as you mentioned; but many are also
>> using "Kiev". 
>> A Google web search today from Los Angeles reports about 48 million
>> results for 
>> "Kyiv" and about 108 million for "Kiev", and a Google News search
>> reports about 
>> 4.1 million for "Kyiv" and about 9.4 million for "Kiev". This
>> (admittedly 
>> quick-and-dirty) sanity check suggests that "Kyiv" is not yet the
>> consensus 
>> spelling.
> I did a more reliable Google Ngram search, which shows the usage in edited text, and found that while the Official Government spelling is clearly gaining ground, it hasn't quite crossed over yet.
> <https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=%28Kiev+-+chicken+Kiev%29%2CKyiv&year_start=1970&year_end=2019&corpus=26&smoothing=3&case_insensitive=true>
> That said, the gap is quite similar to that between Bombay and Mumbai or Calcutta and Kolkata. By contrast, Beijing surpassed Peking in edited English text by about 1980.

That latter is somewhat amusing in this context as we spell the tzdb zone
identifier for most of mainland China Shanghai whereas we label it Beijing Time.
There is also no confusion or lack of recognition of either spelling whereas a
lot of recent name changes agreed by the UN have almost zero publicity, usage,
or recognition among most English speakers, except diplomatic circles, and they
are required to use whatever they are told to use, unlike this project.

I think we need a principle expressed in theory.html explaining these file names
are internal zone identifiers with historical spellings, and as we would not
change a city or region as a zone identifier spelling just because another in
the area may now have a somewhat larger population, nor would we change program
variable names because someone felt a different name better reflected what it
represents, we will not change zone identifiers because some software neglects
to use CLDR or similar technology and displays a name that someone dislikes
because of political or cultural reasons.

I believe it was a mistake to change the spellings in the past, as that makes it
harder to remember to correlate the former name with older laws and regulations
about time, and that has encouraged others to push to change zone identifier
spellings now for various political or cultural reasons, which is cause for
rejection when considering other changes. I think that also needs to be clearly
expressed as a separate point in theory.html.

I think that we also need a FAQ translating theory.html into International Basic
English or better International Business English to explain the project and
principles to outsiders, and that would best be done by a non-native English
writer, without either US or UK cultural or linguistic biases or preconceptions,
or desire to be excrutiatingly Politically Correct.
Which reminds me: I see that the primary branch of the development source has
not yet been renamed to avoid offending some.

Take care. Thanks, Brian Inglis, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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