[tz] WSJ follows AP to Kyiv

Garrett Wollman wollman at csail.mit.edu
Tue Nov 19 23:31:42 UTC 2019

<<On Tue, 19 Nov 2019 17:31:07 -0500, Bryan J Smith <b.j.smith at ieee.org> said:

> Guy Harris wrote:
>> Bryan J Smith wrote:
>> > 3)  What historical precedents are there on this matter (I've been
>> trying to look through the change logs), to further validate justification
>> (of #1)?
>> Perhaps Calcutta -> Kolkata, although that one may not have been as
>> politically sensitive as this one.

> Which brings me to ...

> Paul.Koning at dell.com wrote:

>> The TZ names are by convention derived from the English language
>> designations for the place names in question.

> So this is yet another consideration, because I understand it (again,
> insert possibly ignorance on my part) ...
>  - Linguistical:  Anglicized

This is an important point, but it cannot go unstated that if the
standard had been French, or Finnish, or Mandarin (as romanized in
hanyu pinyin without tone marks), this question would likely not be
coming up over and over again.  The database is maintained in English
for good historical reasons, but it is inescapable that English is the
national language of a global hegemon and a colonial power, as well as
the international language of media and diplomacy.  People in some
non-English-speaking countries may well feel that English-language
exonyms are being "imposed" on them as a part of some broader
neocolonial project.[1]  tzdb is far from the only place these
sensitivities have been brought to bear.


[1] They would be wrong to think that, but it's not the sort of thing
most people are inclined to consider deeply.

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