I think you'll find that TBL has, on several occasions, commented that he
never intended for URLs (or HTML for that matter) to be presented to or
handled by humans.
It's all TBL's fault for inventing a URL format that puts the domain name
right in front of the user. Hide the browser's location bar somehow, and
all these problems go away, no matter what strings are used at whatever
I say we storm the W3C to make them pay for their sins. Or better yet, make
them run the registries, that'll show 'em. :)