Funny how one simple little question (“Where do comprehensive works on British slang belong?”) caused us such consternation. Our proposed response affects dozens of records. (OK, so the British slang—that is, English slang in the British Isles—solution involves only three records, but then that solution has to be propagated to languages throughout the 400s.)
Currently, the schedule provides for geographic variations
of English (including slang) as follows:
> 427.1–427.9 *‡Geographic variations
Geographic variations of Middle English relocated to
Class comprehensive works in 427
427.1–.8 Geographic variations in England
Add to 427 the numbers following —42 in notation 421–428 from Table 2, e.g., dialects of London 427.1
Class geographic variations in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland in 427.941–427.942, e.g., dialects of North Wales 427.94291
427.9 *‡ Geographic variations in other places
Class here pidgins, creoles
Add to 427.9 notation 4–9 from Table 2, e.g., dialects of Canada 427.971, Tok Pisin 427.9953
There appears to be no number for geographic variations of English in the whole of England other than 427. This number is less than satisfactory since geographic variations in England and geographic variations around the world both go in this number, while geographic variations within England and in specific places elsewhere around the world get their own specific numbers. At the same time, it is unclear whether geographic variations of English in the whole of the British Isles should join geographic variations of English in the whole of England in 427 or whether the whole of the British Isles can be interpreted as a place other than England, in which case the number 427.941 would be appropriate.
The main point of treating geographic variations in England separately from geographic variations in other places is to use a shorter notation for geographic variations in the “mother country,” on the assumption that more of the literature belongs there. But our study of the geographic variations literature in WorldCat has uncovered the fact that for some languages, the literary warrant for geographic variations outside the country/countries with which the language is primarily associated is far greater than for geographic variations within. Our proposed solution is to treat geographic variations of languages uniformly, as shown here:
427‡ Historical and geographic variations, modern nongeographic variations of English
Number built according to instructions under 421–428
For Old English (Anglo-Saxon), see 429
427 [.1–.8] Geographic variations in England
Relocated to 427.942
427.9 *‡ Geographic variations
427.91 *‡ Geographic variations in areas, regions, places in general
Add to base number 427.91 the numbers following —1 in notation 11–19 from Table 2, e.g., dialects of the British empire 427.9171241
427.94–.99 Geographic variations in the modern world
Add to base number 427.9 notation 4–9 from Table 2, e.g., geographic variations in England 427.942 [formerly 427.1–427.8], slang of British Isles 427.941, dialects of Canada 427.971, Tok Pisin 427.9953
For geographic variations of Middle English, see 427.02094–427.02099
The proposed changes involve reuse of several numbers in 457.9 Geographic variations of Italian and 469.79 Geographic variations of Portuguese; the reuse affects a limited number of records in WorldCat. Consider, for example, 457.91, which prior to the relocation of Sardinian in the January 2007 New and Changed Entries (in Word and PDF formats), was the number for geographic variations of Italian in the Cagliari province of Sardinia. With the proposed changes, it becomes the number for geographic variations of Italian in areas, regions, places in general.
The entire set of proposed changes can be viewed in the PDF here.
At Meeting 130, the Decimal Classification Editorial Policy Committee (EPC) approved the changes to geographic language variations for publication in DDC 23 (scheduled to be published in late calendar year 2010). Aware of the impact that the changes could have on institutions around the world, EPC also advised us to post the proposed changes and our plan to hold implementation of the changes until publication of DDC 23 for comment on the blog. We now invite your feedback on both the proposed changes and the implementation plan, either posted as a comment to this blog entry or sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. We request feedback by April 30, 2009.