Re: WG Review: Effective Terminology in IETF Documents (term)

John C Klensin <> Wed, 14 April 2021 01:30 UTC

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Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 21:30:09 -0400
From: John C Klensin <>
To: Brian E Carpenter <>,,
Subject: Re: WG Review: Effective Terminology in IETF Documents (term)
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--On Wednesday, April 14, 2021 09:53 +1200 Brian E Carpenter
<> wrote:

>>> If the consensus is that we should not do this, I would be
>>> highly disappointed, but I would accept it as a consensus
>>> decision.
>> Language policing is not part of the RFC Editor's job.
> That may be true today, but when we have a new regime for the
> RFC Series model it might change, or at least, this whole
> issue might become part of the style guide.

Actually, Brian, putting "language policing" aside and instead
discussing control of the vocabulary used in RFCs, that has
always been part of the RFC Editor's job.  If we were now going
to say "the RFC Editor is responsible for choices about
technical terminology consistent with the rest of the Series,
for the difference between British and American English, for
consistency of decisions about sentence structure and
punctuation choices, etc., but not for any words the TERM WG
might choose to put on its list... well, we could do that but I
fear it could lead us into a silly state, especially if, as your
other note suggested, the vocabularies were not coordinated
across the Series.

For that reason, I see it as much more plausible if any of this
becomes advice to the community (for sorting out terminology and
vocabulary before things go over the wall to the RFC Editor) but
leaving finsl text in the hands of the RFC Editor Function...
and ultimately getting whatever guidance is adopted into the
style manual seems just right.